In the description of the High Priest's service on Yom Kippur, the Torah notes that "he shall atone for himself and his family and for all the congregation of Israel."

The sense of community responsibility is, fortunately, highly developed among our people. Whether our public concerns are Israel and its infinite problems, or domestic philanthropies of the hospital and Old Folks Home type, or religious institutions like synagogues and schools — the survival instinct, the desire to perpetuate our people and ideals is a strong motivating force. The urgency of such activities is beyond question.

Do our communal efforts fulfill our obligations as Jews?We may ask ourselves some personal questions, though. Can these activities be the totality of our Jewish living? Do our communal efforts fulfill our obligations as Jews? Can we expect people far far away to put Judaism into action, so we may safely forget to look to the ways of our own households? What are our own homes like?

All the activities, projects, chairmanships, committees, offices, minutes of meetings, motions and tabled motions, national and regional and local honors, districts, chapters, conventions and conclaves — all these are no substitute for being a good Jewish father and mother. Nor do these activities absolve us in any way of personally keeping the commandments of the Torah.

We have responsibilities to ourselves, our families, our people, and all these obligations may enjoy peaceful and fruitful coexistence. This we see from the High Priest who looked (note the order) to "himself, his family, and the entire congregation."