Parshat Bahalotcha begins with G-d's command to Moshe regarding the kindling of the Menorah. Many commentators are puzzled by this commandment's juxtaposition with the end of Parashat Nasso which discussed the gifts of the Nesi'im during the dedication of the Mishkan. Rashi cites the medrash which explains the reason for this juxtaposition. The medrash explains that Aaron was distraught over the fact that he was excluded from the dedication ceremony, so Hashem reminded him of the Mitzvah of the Menorah which would remain in his family forever.
The Ramban wonders why Aaron felt slighted for being excluded from the Nesi'im's gifts, and why a reminder of the Menorah was enough to ameliorate those feelings. Clearly Aaron must have been aware of his privilege. Indeed there were countless rituals performed by the Kohanim that could have reminded him of this. So why specifically the Menorah?
Rav Yehuda Amital Z''tl of Yeshivat Har Etzion (http://vbm-torah.org/archive/sichot67/36-67behaal.htm) suggests that the gifts of the
Nesi'im were unique in that it was the first time voluntary offerings were brought to Hashem. He explains, "All the power is drawn from the future. There is no past upon which to lean in taking these steps; there is only a future dream that motivates us to action. The dream is always greater than reality, and therefore the first steps embody the greatest power." Aaron was distraught that he would not be able to participate in the newness and the excitement and the power of those initial offerings to G-d.
G-d's response to Aaron was that the mitzvah of the Menorah requires a new kindling each day. The kindling of the Menorah signified the possibility of experiencing "newness" even in daily rituals. A person can perform the same mitzvah each day with vigor and enthusiasm as though he performs it for the first time. Even though Aaron missed the opportunity afforded by the inaugural offering of the Nesi'im, he was nevertheless capable of reaping the same benefits through the daily lighting of the Menorah.
In life we always think back poetically to earlier times, such as the Exodus from Egypt, the growth of Torah life in Europe, or the creation of the State of Israel. When we think back to those early times we feel a sense of pride, admiration, and joy from their accomplishments. However, it is hard not to feel a sense of envy that we could not have participated in those exciting moments and have been a part of that initial energy and excitement. The Menorah reminds us that even though we weren't part of that initial energy, it is incumbent upon us to recreate that energy and excitement every day. We must view every year, semester, and every day at school with all the energy, vision, and passion of earlier times, and Hillel Academy and the Pittsburgh community will never falter.