Dear Readers,

Sometimes, when I look around, I feel surrounded by negativity, by doom and gloom.

I see the many social wrongs that are being tolerated. I discern rampant judgmentalism and condescension in our communities. I see a world that is very far from the ideals of where it should be.

Rather than feeling like we are progressing forward on our sojourn towards a better reality, our situation can sometimes feel pretty helpless. It can feel like steps backwards. There are undeniably too may collective ills, too many cracks and far too many people not walking the walk or talking the talk of the high ideals that the Torah aspires to.

But then I remember. G‑d doesn’t demand perfection.

In this week’s Torah portion, there’s an unbelievable 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 50 righteous individuals in these cities. Eventually, he squeezes G‑d to withhold punishment if even 10 righteous people exist.

In these highly populated yet morally depraved cities, where the cruelest behaviors were tolerated and encouraged, all that was necessary to prevent destruction was 10 people standing true to their morals.

10. That’s all.

Maimonides tells us to view our world as being half-good and half-evil. 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 that person can be any of us.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW