In this Perashá Aharon HaCohen is ordered to light the Menorah candles, but for this an unusual expression is used: “Behaalotejá”. The literal meaning of this word is “when you raise”, instead of saying “Lehadlik”, an idiom used in relation to the lighting of the candles and the different festivities. Here is a deep teaching. The Menorah symbolizes Torah and we must always keep in mind that Torah study is not like any other study. Observing the mitzvot is not just another lifestyle, it is the essence of our life, the deepest part of our being. Through the fulfillment of the precepts and the study of the Torah we elevate ourselves and understand our purpose in life. For this reason the word elevate is used instead of lighting. In the Menorah we also find another teaching. King Solomon, in his book of Proverbs declares: “The soul of man is a candle of the Creator.” Buried deep within the recesses of our neshama is the Light of HASHEM: A love of Torah and mitzvot. We just need to turn it on. Therefore, if we seek elevation, meaning and purpose in life, all we have to do is turn on the Light of Torah that is found in our soul. Let’s go to the beginning of Rashi A.H. !: Aharon received the mitzvah of the lighting of the Menorah, after the princes of the tribes brought their contributions for the inauguration of the Tabernacle. The Midrash teaches that Aaron was distressed that tribal leaders were asked to bring offerings, but he and his tribe were not invited to do so. A reflection! In our world, very few people would feel marginalized or distressed if they were exempt from making a contribution. They would be happier to be absolved from making these donations. Aaron taught us the correct priorities. For him, the important thing was not what he possessed, but what he was capable of giving. Aharón felt marginalized when he was not asked to give. His message transcends the centuries and reaches us, strong and clear. What matters is not what we have, but what we give. Aaron gave with all his heart and that is why The Almighty assured that his gift, the lighting of the Menorah, would be eternal. In fact, even to this day, even the apparently farthest Jews, light and participate in the Chanukah Menorah, even if they do not know the depth of the act.
Aaron was ordered to light the candles and we are taught that the most effective way to instill in our children the importance of Torah study and Mitzvot observance, is to be An Example, a suitable model. What really matters is not what we say, but what we do, because this is how our children will remember us. If they see our commitment, they will follow us and will continue on our way. Due to his dedication and his love for the mitzvah of the Menorah, Aharon had the credit that the miracle of Chanukah occurred through his descendants: Matatiahu, son of the Great Priest (Cohen Gadol) Yochanan and the entire family of the Jashmonaim. From here we learn that the merit of performing a mitzvah with love and devotion, has no limits and its imprint transcends the passing of time. We must ask ourselves the following question: What example do I give my children? How will future generations remind us? What is written in the legacy that we will leave 120 years from now? After the instructions received by Aharón, the Perashá comments: “Vaiáas Ken Aharon – And so did Aharón”. RASHÍ states that this verse is a praise to Aaron, who fulfilled the command exactly as he had been instructed. Logically, anyone who had the privilege of receiving direct orders from the Creator, would have carried them out to the letter. So what is the reason to praise Aharon’s performance? During his nearly forty years of service, he retained the same enthusiasm as the first day he received the commandment. LET’S LEARN