Rabbis and commentators through the ages have discussed the symbolism of the menorah as representing the light of the Divine. In addition, the Kabbalists/mystics imagined that the seven branches of the menorah represented the seven lower sefirot/divine emanations that human beings can experience in this world through their actions and spiritual practice.
Light as a representation of God's presence is also found in this particular parashah in the image of the fire enshrouded in a pillar of cloud that hovered over the Mishkan as a sign of God's presence. According to the text, the fire/presence of God would be seen within a cloud over the Mishkan by day and simply as fire by night, which is when Aaron would kindle the menorah. When the cloud/fire would lift that was the signal to the people that it was time for the community to move on. When the cloud would again descend, the people knew that God was “dwelling” in their midst and so they would stop and set up camp. Then they would wait for the cloud to lift again and the command from Moses to continue their march through the desert.
The pillar of cloud/fire, the conversation between God and Moses, as well as Aaron's ascent to light the menorah, can be seen as representing the divine-human partnership. Moses was able to "hear" God's voice directly from between the angelic wings, Aaron was able to bring the light of the Divine to the people by lighting the menorah, and the people experienced God’s presence through the cloud and fire. The poetic commentary that follows builds upon this premise. I hope that you find it meaningful and always welcome any comments or questions that you might have.
outside the tent