The unique meaning of the Torah is largely obscured because of the meaning of the term “torah” in current usage, as in “torat hayahasut” (the theory of relativity) or “torat habishul” (the art of cooking).
Such usage deprives the Torah of one of its basic points – the fact that it is unique and self-defining.
The term rightfully has only one usage – for the Torah alone.
Whoever regards the Torah as the law book of a particular religious system distorts Judaism and, thereby, the proper understanding of the Torah’s essential nature.
A religion is a conceptual and practical framework whose purpose is to regulate part of life – the part of life that has to do with serving God.
Judaism, however, as expressed in the Torah, cannot be limited within such a partial framework.
Its whole essence is in viewing all of life as a comprehensive system, encompassing all the ways and details of the Jewish People’s life in a special pattern.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz