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The written Torah, in the restricted sense of the first five books of the Bible, is preserved in all Jewish synagogues on handwritten parchment scrolls that reside inside the ark of the Law. They are removed and returned to their place with special reverence. Readings from the Torah form an important part of Jewish liturgical services.
The term Torah is also used to designate the entire Hebrew Bible. Since for some Jews the laws and customs passed down through oral traditions are part and parcel of God’s revelation to Moses and constitute the “oral Torah,” Torah is also understood to include both the Oral Law and the Written Law.
Rabbinic commentaries on and interpretations of both Oral and Written Law have been viewed by some as extensions of sacred oral tradition, thus broadening still further the meaning of Torah to designate the entire body of Jewish laws, customs, and ceremonies. See alsoHalakhah.