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Lights-out Shabbat

Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 2:29 pm

Last Friday night about 9:30 pm, something went wrong with a substation transmission power line and over 10,000 Rogers residents were left without power. I am not sure what the other 9,999 did, but in our home there was not much we can do -- it was Shabbos and no flashlights can be turned on or phone calls made. Fortunately, we were still able to continue our Shabbos dinner without interruption.

It is a custom in many communities that with the birth of each child we add one more Shabbos candle to the required two; so, with 8 children thank G-d, my wife lights 10 candles each week. Those, in addition to the ones lit by our daughter and our guest, provided enough illumination to continue Shabbos dinner uninterrupted.

1.jpgI don’t know if I ever appreciated the Shabbos candles as much as I did last Shabbos. With the lights usually on, I was never able to notice just how much light and warmth they provide. Enjoying a ‘candlelight 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 had the 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 Shul, enjoying Shabbos prayers with our wonderful community, I couldn’t help but make the connection between the previous night’s events and that morning in Shul.

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

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

Shabbat1.jpgSo after-all, last week I had a well-lit Shabbos. Tonight, as Dobi lights her candles; and tomorrow as we sit and pray with whoever is in Shul, I will once again thank G-d for the light and warmth each candle and each Jew brings.

I welcome you to join me in lighting Shabbos candles in your home tonight and in joining us in Shul tomorrow. Bring in the light!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Mendel Greisman

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

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