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