Spreading The Light – Weekly Words of Torah, Shabbat Chanukah 5774

Insights into Chanukah of Mr. Tzvi Richter of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.

Following the inauguration of the Mishkan Aharon Hakohen was disheartened. Why? All of the Nissi’im brought gifts for The Mishkan as commanded by Hashem but Hashem did not tell Aharon or his Shevet, Levi, to bring a gift for The Mishkan. רשי comments that for this reason the parsha of בהעלתך את הנרות was put next to the inauguration of the Mishkan. Hashem told Aharon in response that his portion was bigger than the Nissi’im because he and his Shevet will have the privilege to light the menorah. With this Aharon was comforted.

The רמב’ן asks twofold. First why was Aharon consoled specifically by being able to light the Menorah, why not that he also offered the ketoret? Secondly why was Aharon upset in the first place? Did he not bring many other korbanot during the inauguration?

The רמב’ן answers that Aharon was comforted by receiving the mitzvah of הדלקת הנרות because it represented much more than the mitzvah of lighting, it also represented that many generations later the Chashmonaem, his descendents, will light the same menorah in the Beit HaMikdash and the Miracle of the oil will happen.

However how does this answer the question? Why was Aharon consoled with the fact that there will be a Chanukah many generation later his descendents will light the menorah? What does the Chanukah story have to do with comforting Aharon?
One can possibly suggest the following idea.

The reason that Aharon was disheartened was that this Mitzvah of the Menorah directly follows the death of Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu which also occurred during the inauguration of the Mishkan. Additionally, The Mishkan is post חטא העגל as well. With these two events, Aharon felt that he was failing in his leadership role to positively affect Klal Yisrael and to be the role model of Avodat Hashem.

ה’ comforted and consoled אהרון by responding that not only will Aharon provide the light of menorah of spirituality to the world in the משכן, but also there will be a time in the future that through Aharon’s children, the Kohanim, יהדות will be saved and rejuvenated.

Rishonim comment that the Menorah that we light on Chanukah today is modelled after the menorah in the Beit HaMikdash. This Chanukah let us continue in the path of Aharon and the Chashmonaem to light the menorah and bring the light of Chanukah to the world.