Nitzavim, Siman 2 נצבים, ב׳
1 א

רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּנִּיתִי לָכֶם רָאשִׁים זְקֵנִים וְשׁוֹטְרִים, כֻּלְּכֶם שָׁוִין לְפָנַי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְכָל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל. דָּבָר אַחֵר, כֻּלְּכֶם עֲרֵבִים זֶה בָּזֶה. אֲפִלּוּ צַדִּיק אֶחָד בֵּינֵיכֶם, כֻּלְּכֶם עוֹמְדִים בִּזְכוּתוֹ. וְלֹא אַתֶּם בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ צַדִּיק אֶחָד בֵּינֵיכֶם, כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בִּזְכוּתוֹ עוֹמֵד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְצַדִּיק יְסוֹד עוֹלָם (משלי ו, כה). וּכְשֶׁאֶחָד מִכֶּם חוֹטֵא, כָּל הַדּוֹר לוֹקֶה. וְכֵן אַתָּה מוֹצֵא בְּעָכָן, הֲלֹא עָכָן בֶּן זֶרַח מָעַל מַעַל בַּחֵרֶם וְגוֹ' (יהושע כב, כ). מִדַּת פֻּרְעָנִיּוּת מוּעֶטֶת, וְהַדּוֹר נִתְפַּס בָּהּ. מִדָּה טוֹבָה מְרֻבָּה, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה. לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: כָּל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְלֹא גְּדוֹלִים שֶׁבָּכֶם בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ טַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם וְגֵרְךָ. לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: כָּל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְפִי שֶׁבָּשָׂר וָדָם מְרַחֵם עַל הַזְּכָרִים יוֹתֵר מֵהַנְּקֵבוֹת. וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינוֹ כֵן, כִּי רַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו, עַל הַזְּכָרִים וְעַל הַנְּקֵבוֹת, וְעַל הַצַּדִּיקִים וְעַל הָרְשָׁעִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: מֵחוֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ עַד שׁוֹאֵב מֵימֶיךָ. מֵחוֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק בֶּן טַבְלִי, מְלַמֵּד, שֶׁבָּאוּ הַגִּבְעוֹנִים אֵצֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן נוּן וְקִבְּלָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַּם הֵמָּה בְּעָרְמָה וְגוֹ' (שם ט, ד). מַהוּ גַּם הֵמָּה. לְלַמֶּדְךָ, שֶׁבָּאוּ אֵצֶל מֹשֶׁה וְלֹא קִבְּלָן.

(Deut. 29:9:) “Your tribal leaders, [your elders, and your law officers].” Although I have appointed for you heads, judges, elders, and law officers, you shall all be equal before me, since it is stated (ibid., cont.), “every person in Israel.” Another interpretation (of Deut. 29:9): All of you are responsible for each other. Even though there is [only] one righteous person among you, you all shall survive (literally, stand) through his merit; and not only you, but the whole world in toto, as stated (in Prov. 10:25), “but a righteous person is the foundation for the world.”3A more common translation would be: BUT A RIGHTEOUS PERSON IS AN EVERLASTING FOUNDATION. However, when one sins, the whole generation is stricken, and so you find in the case of Achan (in Josh. 22:20), “Was it not Achan ben Zerah who committed [embezzlement] in the proscription (i.e., the herem of Jericho)?” If with the measure of punishment which is small, the [whole] generation was seized, how much the more [will the generation prosper], with the measure of [divine] favor which is great! It is therefore stated (in Deut. 29:9), “every person in Israel”; and not only the great ones who are among us, but (according to vs. 10) “Your infants, your wives, and your alien.” It is therefore stated (in Deut. 29:9), “every person.” Now flesh and blood shows more mercy over males than over females, but the Holy One, blessed be He, is not like that. Rather (according to Ps. 145:9), “His mercy is upon all his works,” upon males and upon females, upon the righteous and upon the wicked, as stated (in Deut. 29:10, cont.), “from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water.” (Deut. 29:10, cont.), “From the one who chops your wood.” R. Isaac ben Tavlay said, “[This] teaches that, when the Gibeonites came to [Moses he did not accept them; but when they came to] Joshua, he did accept them.4According to Josh. 9:27, Joshua gave these menial tasks to the Gibeonites. Thus it is stated (in Josh. 9:4), ‘And they also acted with cunning.’ What is the meaning of ‘they also?’ [This] teaches that they had come to Moses, and he had not accepted them.”