Rambam, Laws of Repentance 3:4
2 ב
צריך כל אדם שיראה עצמו כל השנה כולה כאילו חציו זכאי וחציו חייב, וכן כל העולם חציו זכאי וחציו חייב, חטא חטא אחד הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף חובה וגרם לו השחתה, עשה מצוה אחת הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף זכות וגרם לו ולהם תשועה והצלה שנאמר "וצדיק יסוד עולם" זה שצדק הכריע את כל העולם לזכות והצילו.
Throughout the entire year, a person should always look at himself as equally balanced between merit and sin and the world as equally balanced between merit and sin. If he performs one sin, he tips the balance and that of the entire world to the side of guilt and brings destruction upon himself. [On the other hand,] if he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and brings deliverance and salvation to himself and others. This is implied by (Proverbs 10:25) ‘A righteous person is the foundation of the world,’ i.e., one who acted righteously, tipped the balance of the entire world to merit and saved it. [AJWS translation]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. In what way does this text respond to the common feeling that our actions aren't enough?

2. What does it mean to tip the balance here? What does that look like in your own life?

3. How can we work together to tip the balance in our communities even further to the side of good?

4 ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)