Aharon and the Menorah

Parshat בהעלותך begins with the commandment to light the Menorah. The Ramban comments that Aharon was a little despondent after seeing that each of twelve tribes were honored to make sacrifices at the dedication of the Mishkan,

Aharon was concerned that perhaps he was unworthy for his part in creating the Golden Calf. He is assured that he is in Hashem’s good graces. Not only is he given the exclusive Mitzva to light the Menorah but there will be a special holiday in the future where his descendants will save the Jewish people. The story of the Maccabees and his special Mitzva were meant to give Aharon special recognition.

Rabbi Soloveitchik points out that Aharon demonstrated tremendous humility. He allowed himself to be insulted and struck with stones. He guarded sanctity with self sacrifice and unbounded love.

Aharon was similar to Rachel who helped her husband, Rabbi Akiva. Because of all of this, Aharon was rewarded with Chanukah.