Last Friday night, at about 9:30 p.m., something went wrong with a power transmission substation, and over 10,000 residents of our hometown of Rogers, Arkansas, were left without power. I am not sure what the other 9,999 households did, but in our home there was not much we could have done. It was Shabbat, and no flashlights could be turned on or phone calls made. Fortunately, we were able to continue our Shabbat dinner without interruption.

It is a custom in many communities that with the birth of each child we add one more Shabbat candle to the required two. So, with eight children, thank G‑d, my wife lights ten candles every week. Those, in addition to the candles lit by our daughter and our guest, provided enough illumination to continue our Shabbat meal.

I don’t know if I ever appreciated the Shabbat candles as much as I did last Shabbat. With the electric lights usually on, I hadn’t noticed just how much light and warmth they provide. Enjoying a candlelit dinner in a pitch-black home and neighborhood was amazingly beautiful and peaceful.

As the evening progressed, and the candles were reaching their end, one by one, I was surprised to see the difference in the room with each missing flame. I never before had a chance to witness just how much light one little candle emits.

And I thanked G‑d for each and every little candle.

The following morning in synagogue, enjoying Shabbat prayers with our wonderful community, I couldn’t help but make the connection between the previous night’s events and that morning at services.

Yes, ours is a small community. We don’t have hundreds of people in synagogue like they have in Jerusalem or Brooklyn. But because of that, each person makes a tangible difference to the atmosphere and warmth of the community. It isn’t easy to notice the value of each individual when “the lights are on,” when you’re in synagogue with 500 people. Thank G‑d for our small community where we can appreciate the difference each and every one makes.

And I thanked G‑d for each and every member of our Jewish community.

So, we had a well-lit Shabbat, after all. Tonight, as my wife, Dobi, lights her candles and tomorrow, as we sit and pray with whoever is in synagogue, I will once again thank G‑d for the light and warmth each candle and each Jew brings.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, after about an hour and a half of darkness, as the last of the candles was about to go out, the power came back on.