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Editor's Note: Turns and Returns

Dear Friends,

During the summer months we customarily study the tractate of the Mishnah known as Ethics of the Fathers, which is filled with insightful aphorisms and edifying instruction relating to all kinds of personal and social questions. A recurring theme, and the topic of this week’s chapter, is the study of Torah. “Turn over within it and turn over within it,” the Mishnah instructs, “for everything is in it.”

Why the double expression? Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson—father of the Rebbe, whose 70th yahrtzeit was this past Shabbat—explains that to turn Torah thoughts over in your mind is to engage in a two-way relationship with G‑d. On the one hand, you are drawing down divine wisdom from above. On the other hand, you are raising up your physical mind and surrounding environment to receive that wisdom. Thus, Torah study is a man-G‑d partnership.

Now, who wouldn’t want to become partners with the Creator? All you need to do is open a book, hop over to a class, or even open the computer. He is there waiting for you.

Now, that’s something to turn over in your head.

Eli Rubin,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

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his drawing is a tribute to nature.
My firstborn child, Israel.
— G‑d to Moses, Exodus 4:22