November 6, 2020 / 19 Mar-Chesvan, 5781 • Parshat Vayeira
Issue 639
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

In this week’s Torah portion, there’s an phenomenal exchange

between Abraham and G-d. G-d has just informed Abraham

that he intends to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom

and Gomorrah. True to his character, Abraham pleads

for mercy and begins brokering with G-d.

He begins his negotiations by entreating G-d to forgive the

people if there are even fifty righteous people in these cities.

Eventually, he presses G-d to withhold punishment if

there are even ten righteous people.

In these highly populated yet morally depraved cities, where

the cruelest behaviors were tolerated and encouraged, all

that was necessary to prevent destruction was ten people

standing true to their morals.

Ten. That’s all.

Maimonides tells us to view our world as being half meritorious and

half unmeritorious. We don’t need to change the world and all its moral

wrongs. All we need to do is one act of goodness to tip the

scales in our favor.

Just one positive act by one individual.

And any one of us can be that individual.

—from Shabbat DeLights