Gifts v. Lights

The Parsha of Bahaloscha begins with Aaron “lighting the lamp.” Rashi asks the famous questions: what is the connection between lighting the lamp and the previous section which deals with the gifts brought by the head of the tribes. Rashi’s answer is that Aaron was upset that he was not included so gd gave him this special mitzva.

The Ramban asks a question , why is the lighting of the menorah singled out as his consolation prize? . Why not some of the other acts Aaron does in the mishkan. Ramban answers that the lighting will never cease. This lighting is in reference to the Chanukah lighting. Even though the temple will be destroyed, the lighting of the chanukah candles will continue. The Ramban explains that the Hashmeonans were cohanim and the mitzva and whole story flows throught them and the priestly blessing.

We know the Chanuka story is a story of spiritual survival and triumph The challenge by Greeks to our nation was spiritual, not physical.

The lesson is obvious. Gifts come and go. Things don’t last. But the ‘light” as kindled in the mishkan and the light of Chanukah is our spiritual legacy. This “light’ , spirituality or holiness will survive. We will “regift” lots of stuff, but we will ultimately rely on our spiritual gifts.

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