What is the Tanakh?


The Tanakh is also known as the “Jewish Bible,” and is comprised of the Torah, the prophets, the writings (Torah, Nevi’im, Kethuvim) which the word Tanakh comes from. The Tanakh is a massive volume full of wisdom, tradition, and insight into Jewish life, culture, and it is where Judaism gets its beliefs and practices from. The Torah itself (the first five books) outlines the core of all Judaism and each week Jews study a portion of the Torah until the entire Torah is read, then the cycle is repeated (forever). 

A Jewish person reads and studies the entire Torah dozens of times throughout their life, looking for new or more meaning from each and every portion read every time. Though the focus is often Torah (Hence Jews are known as “the people of the book,”) and Talmud-based, the rest of the Tanakh is explored as well. The Nevi’im and Kethuvim portions of the Tanakh are filled with wisdom, with Nevi’im covering the stories of the prophets and minor prophets, and Kethuvim housing the most widely known portions.

Kethuvim has Sections such as the book of Ruth which talks about a person’s conversion to Judaism, and Song of songs which are amongst the most intensely beautiful pieces ever written. Psalms and Proverbs are also a part of Kethuvim, both of which are incredibly powerful and enlightening texts and have been used to console and empower people for centuries. 

The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) is the sustaining codification of the beliefs, practices, culture, and in its original Hebrew, language of the Jewish people.