It's Up to Us by Barry Buckman


              In Parshat Bo, the Torah tells us that God will pass over the tents of the Jews (12:23).  We can realize how great of a miracle this is and how much we should appreciate the fact that God did this for us, but there is an aspect of this miracle that is often overlooked.  That fact is that not only did God perform this act for the few spiritual Jews who deserved it, but he also did it for the vast majority of Jews who did not deserve it, even though they were on the 49th level of (non-) spirituality.  If they would have fallen to the 50th level, God would not have taken them out of Mitzraim at all, but still he did this for them, even though according to the Midrash they were involved in idolatry.

              Pesach is a holiday for which God appreciates Bnai Yisrael just for who we are.  We are taught that in order to achieve ones goal in being able to pray to God with total devotion, one must devote himself totally and abandon all unnecessary pleasures.  But on Pesach, this requirement is waived, since God himself lifts us up and raises us up to these spiritual heights.  In fact, the only requirement to be elevated to this spiritual height is that you do not resist being lifted, and as long as you cooperate with God, you will be uplifted from the "quicksand of mundane pleasures."  Just like God took the initiative to take is out of Mitzraim, here too he will take the initiative and lift us up if we allow him to.

Honesty and Torah Study by Rabbi Yosef Grossman

Deep Impact by Judah Moskowitz