It was in the middle of a game of Rummy at which Josh, Dan and Rachel were playing happily one evening - quietly, because their mother lay upstairs with a migraine headache - that without warning, the lights went out. Rachel jumped up and pressed the switch, but the room remained in darkness. The lights in the rest of the house also appeared to be off.

Josh felt his way to the window and looked outside. Wow!" he exclaimed. The street lamps are off - and so are all the lights in the other houses. It must be a power cut!"

"A power cut?" echoed Dan. "What do you mean?"

"It means the electricity in the city, or part of the city, stops working - but don't worry, it'll probably come on again soon."

"But how can we see, meanwhile?" wondered Josh, who had already bumped himself several times.

"Let's light some candles," suggested Dan.

But alas! None were to be found in the usual place. "Oh! I remember mummy saying we needed some more for next Friday evening," said Rachel.

"What should we do? We can't wake poor mummy, and daddy won't be back for an hour at least. We'll just have to sit quietly and talk. Oh well, it's quite fun really. It reminds me a bit of the Plague of Darkness the Egyptians had," Josh said.

"Oh no, the Egyptians had it much worse," Rachel disagreed. "We learned that the darkness was so dark that you could feel it, and the Egyptians were unable to move at all!"

"Oh no, the poor Egyptians - that means they couldn't move for a few days. That's much worse than this!" said Dan, who hated the dark.

"Isn't that amazing - that darkness can be so thick you can actually feel it?" Rachel wondered. "I always thought that darkness was something that happens when there is no light - but I suppose it's something that really exists, if the Egyptians could feel it".

"Even if it is something, it's quite easy to get rid of it," Josh said. "As long as there's no power cut, all you have to do is turn on the light - and all the darkness is gone."

"You know, my teacher told us once that mitzvot are like that - when we do good things it is like turning on the light - we help get rid of all the darkness, of the badness in the world."

"And maybe darkness actually isn't anything after all," said Rachel. "Only light and goodness are real. But when there is no light, the darkness seems very real, and that's why the Egyptians couldn't move. Really, all along, everything can turn to light."

Suddenly, as she was talking, the lights went on again. "Hooray," said Dan happily. "We got rid of the darkness just by talking about the light!"