The Torah is the Jewish name for the first five books of the Jewish Bible. In Hebrew the five books are named by the first phrase in the text: Bereshit (“In the beginning,” Book of Genesis), Shemot (“Names,” Exodus), Vayikra (“He called”, Leviticus),Bamidbar (“In the desert,” Numbers) and Devarim (“Words,” Deuteronomy). In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav(תורה שבכתב, “Torah that is written”), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe’al Peh (תורה שבעל פה, “Torah that is spoken”). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud (תַּלְמוּד) and Midrash (מדרש) .
According to Jewish tradition, all of the laws found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and most of them at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were later compiled and written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to medieval Jewish mysticism the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. Most Modern biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c.600 BCE) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c.400 BCE).