What is the Torah?
The answer depends on the context.
Torah can simply mean instruction. Or it can refer to the five books of Moses. Or it can refer to the 613 commandments derived from the five books of Moses.
When asked if Abraham followed the Torah, Rabbi Tovia Singer in the video below answered “Yes”, citing Genesis 26:5.
…Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.
Rabbi Singer did not distinguish the Torah Abraham followed from the Torah of Moses, but instead conflated them, to make it appear that Abraham was aware of the Torah revealed to Moses on Sinai. This is troubling, in light of the following:
- Abraham did not tithe to the Levites, as required by Moses
- Abraham did not observe the Passover, as required by Moses.
- Abraham did not observe Yom Kippur, as required by Moses.
Since Abraham predated Levi and Moses and the exodus from Egypt, he could not follow commands related to Levi or Moses or the exodus. Therefore, we can confidently conclude that Abraham and the patriarchs were not obligated to follow the same set of commands as Moses. That is why Joseph could marry an Egyptian woman and Jacob could marry sisters – the commands from Moses outlawing such practices did not exist in their day, because their Torah was different from the Torah of Moses.
Listen to the Rabbi and then study Torah. Does Torah teach that Abraham followed the Law of Moses, as the Rabbi claims, or that Abraham followed a different Torah consisting of laws relevant to his time?