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By Torah I refer to material that should one study one would be fulfilling the mitzvah of talmud torah and would require a birchas hatorah.

Tanach and all that explain and expound upon it—in the broadest possible sense—are certainly Torah. 

Maaseh Bereishis and Maaseh Merkava—as explications of Bereishis 1 and Yechezkel 1 respectively—are certainly Torah.

What are the definitions of these two disciplines?

Traditionally MB is identified with Sefer Yetzirah and MM with Heichalos R/Z.

They, then, would be defined as Torah.

Rambam defines MB as physics (natural science) and MM as metaphysics and even includes them in the definition of Talmud.

They, then, would be defined as Torah.

One would make a bracha before studying a natural science textbook!

These definitions are presumably exclusive of one another as the traditional view would reject Rambam's definitions and vice versa.

What about disciplines that one must know in order to better understand Torah? Are they too included in Torah?

Say logic, mathematics, geometry and  astronomy to take a few examples.

The Mishnah in Avos (3:18) terms them פַּרְפְּרָאוֹת לַחָכְמָה.

Similarly, what about Hebrew grammar which is necessary to fully understand Tanach.

What about the study of languages that allow for a richer understanding of Tanach?

What about other ANE religions to help shed light on the Torah?

Architecture to better understand the Mishkan and Mikdash?

If the answer to the above is yes then the scope of Torah is very large.

The question then becomes what is excluded?

Presumably the arts and soft sciences would be out.

In a word, what is in and what is out for talmud torah and by extension birchas hatorah purposes?

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    "be fulfilling the mitzvah of talmud torah and would require a birchas hatorah." These categories aren't necessarily the same.
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2023 at 14:53
  • "Tanach and all that explain and expound upon it—in the broadest possible sense—are certainly Torah." This is highly questionable, at least for Talmud Torah deorayta, since Nakh is all post-orayta.
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2023 at 14:53
  • If I am not mistaken, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm infamously discusses this in his Torah Umada.
    – אילפא
    Dec 26, 2023 at 14:58
  • Thank you. Will check it out. Why infamous?
    – Nahum
    Dec 26, 2023 at 15:01
  • Double AA, I see your point; is your second comment explaining your first?
    – Nahum
    Dec 26, 2023 at 15:06

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