Pirkei Avot teaches us many lessons regarding the value of being a part of a community and the importance of establishing a legacy of activism and social responsibility.

The word “team” is a great acronym for “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.” Teamwork and working as a community are not simply ways to combine individuals’ achievements. Rather, the team succeeds in ways that would be unimaginable for individuals. This is seen in team sports as well as in projects at work.

So too, in the spiritual realm. The quality of the Mitzvah will be far better when performed by a group and God credits the Mitzvah as such in Heaven. This is why the Mishna says in Pirkei Avot (4:14), “A group gathering for the sake of heaven is so powerful that it is guaranteed to have lasting effects.”

In Pirkei Avot (2:2) it says: And all who labor with the community, should labor with them for the sake of Heaven, for the merit of their forefathers sustains them (the community), and their (the forefather’s) righteousness endures for ever; And as for you, [God in such case says] I credit you with a rich reward, as if you [yourselves] had [actually] accomplished [it all].”

In Pirkei Avot (2:5) it says “A brute is not sin-fearing, nor is an ignorant person pious; nor can a timid person learn, nor can an impatient person teach; nor will someone who engages too much in business become wise. In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.

There is the well-known story of the shul that asked all its members to donate a cup of wine. Each member reasoned that everyone else would donate wine, so he could get away with putting in a cup of water. When they came to fetch wine from the barrel, it was all pure water! That is what may happen when one relies on others to do the task. Every person may rationalize that others will do it.

Rabbi Boruch Sorotzkin, a co-founder of the Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe, Ohio, says that this is relevant to all commandments in the Torah, and especially when it comes to involvement in community. When there is something to be done, do not rely on others, even if they share the responsibility. Act as if you were the only person available and capable of doing the task.