Jewish tradition has found within these books six hundred and thirteen commandments [Taryag mitzvot], which are the foundations upon which the whole structure of Jewish religious and ethical behaviour is built and developed. The whole gamut of traditional religious and ethical behaviour-patterns that are deemed binding are termed halakhah, which now has the equivalence of the word 'law', but whose etymology comes from the idea of 'the way we go', the way we do things in accordance with Torah. Also any individual item in this massive programme is termed 'a halakhah'.
While the written Torah is the ultimate basis of Jewish tradition, for halakhic purposes it must be interpreted and understood in the light of the Oral Torah. Any halakhah that comes more or less directly from the Written Torah is termed 'de-Oraita' ['from the Torah' in Aramaic], whereas any halakhah that comes from rabbinic innovation or expansion is termed 'mi-de-rabbanan' ['from the rabbis' in Aramaic].