We see in the Sedra of Bamidbar, that there is a lot of Smichut between one Parsha and the next.
As we saw in last weeks Parsha, that the case of
the Sotah was written next to the Nazir, who was written next
to the Birchas Cohanim, ...
We see that the Torah wasn't just written, each Sedra was placed where it was for a reason.
Based on this, we can understand the question that
is asked, why is the Parsha of the Menorah written next to the
Parsha of the Nesiim? What can we learn from this?
Rav Moshe Reis brings down from Chazal, that when the Pasuk says "Behaloscha Eit Haneiros", it is as if the Pasuk is telling us that "Be-"hethaloscha" Em Haneiros".
For the whole reason we light the Menorah, is in order to cause a spiritual increase in Am Yisroel, when seeing that Hashem want's their deeds.
The sign that Clal Yisroel had, that
Hashem accepted their lighting of the Menorah, was that the Shechinah
came down to dwell amongst Yisroel.
Rashi on the Pasuk brings down the Midrash Tanchumah,
and explains that after Aharon saw the Parsha of the Nesiim, he
felt bad that he wasn't included in the counting. For the whole
tribe of Levi was excluded. He wanted to be part of this serving
of Hashem in the dedication of the new Mishkan.
Hashem than told Aharon that your job is greater,
for you serve me in lighting and preparing the candles of the
The Ramban comes along and asks, is this a conciliation?
Why didn't Hashem tell Aharon that his job is greater, for he does the Avodas Yom Ha Kippur?
Or maybe that he will bring the Ketores?
Why is the lighting of the Menorah considered as
a great service for Hashem?
The Chazal say (Midrash Rabah ) that Clal Yisroel asked Hashem, "How can we light for you the Menorah, when you are the light of the world?"
Hashem than answered, it is not that I need your light, yet do it as I did for you.
Hashem wants us to light the candles, in order to bring us to a higher level of knowing Hashem.
For this is the ideal Hakaras HaTov.
That we show Hashem that we understand his greatness when Hashem lit our way in the desert, and we want to show our small sign of Hakaras HaTov.
We find the same by Tefilah. Does Hashem need our Tefilah? Or is it that by us Davening, and trying to get closer to Hashem, we realize more than ever how Hashem runs the whole world.
It is not the light that Hashem needs, but the light
is for us, to open our eyes to see Hashem's greatness.
This is brought down by Rav Chaim Shmulevitz in Sichos Musar, that this idea of Hakaras HaTov also applies between one and his fellow Jew. When one feels in his heart the greatness of owing one for the good that one did for him, this is a very great power, the power of gratitude. Even though this power is very great, it is still not enough to repay the full amount of kindness that the other has done for him.
The same was by lighting the Menorah.
We see a similar case by Eliyahu Hanavi, when he lodged by "Tzarfit Ha Almanah". While he stayed at her house as a guest, the widows son died. Eliyahu cried out to Hashem to have mercy on the generous widow. In the next Pasuk we find that Hashem listened to Eliyahu, and brought the boy back to life.
Rav Chaim S., asks, if he was able to bring this boy back to life, why didn't he bring his Avos back to life?
Comes Rav Chaim S. and explains that what enabled him to have Hashem answer his prayers?
It was the great power of Hakaras HaTov that he felt
towards the widow. For he felt that he owed his soul for the
good done to him. This brought such great Tefilah out of him,
that it had the power to bring back to life. He was Moser Nefesh
for his Host.
This is the secret of the greatness behind the lighting of the Menorah. It wasn't just a ritual done in the Mishkan.
It was a much greater act. For it allowed Aharon to express his inner feelings of repaying in some way.
For when one feels inside himself that he must repay the other for the good done, the feeling is so great, that one is willing to do almost anything for the other.
This is the Chesed that Hashem gave to the Bnei Yisroel,
in order to repay Hashem, in a small way, for Hashem's lighting
the way in the desert for 40 years.
Rav Eliyahu Dessler brings down in Michtav Me-Eliyahu that we have two types of people. One, is that of the giver, the other is a taker.
The giver has the inner desire to give to others, and not to try and take things which are out of his reach. When the giver receives from others, he feels that he must give in return.
When one is unable to give an equal repayment, the givers heart urges him to repay by giving happiness to the other person by giving thanks and appreciation.
This was the lighting of the Menorah.
For there is no way to completely repay Hashem. Thus it is done through Ahavas Hashem and lighting the Menorah.
"What's mine is yours, and what is yours is yours", is the best Midah.
For true gratitude derives from the
power of giving.
In real life, we may be takers, or
givers. Yet we must all strive to be givers, and thus we will
get a better understanding of Hakaros Hatov to our fellow Jew,
and certainly, towards Hashem.
This weeks Parsha tells us of the lighting of the Neir Tamid.
This light was lit in the Mishkan and also lit afterwards in the Mikdash.
There is a Gemarah in Mesechet Megilah (29:a) that brings down that we also light a similar light in our places of Prayer since a Shul is also called a Mikdash MeAt.
We see in Bamidbar Rabbah it is a great thing to
light a Neir for Shacharis and Maariv, and the Sefer Minhagei
Yeshurun also brings down that the Minhag is to also light for
There is an Isssur to make a Menorah similar to the
one used in the Beis Hamikdash. This Issur also applies to other
vessels of the Mikdash. Therefore, we make Menorah's of 6 or
8 barrels and not of 7.
I will try B"N to find more information on the
Neir Tamid, I found it hard to find much information so far.