Emor - The Power of Seven

Command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle the lamps continually.

צַו אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד
Vayikra 24:1

The Orach HaChaim asks, what this passage is doing here? What is the purpose of the oil and lighting the menorah, as well as the regiment of showbread appearing at this place? Moreover, these nearly exact words already appeared earlier on in the Torah (Shmot 27:20), so why repeat here?

The Power of Seven
The Orach Hachaim offers a novel explanation as the purpose of placing this passage here  - between the description of holidays and the episode of the blasphemer. In the description of the holidays, one theme comes across repeatedly - the number 7. Pesach and Sukkot are 7 day holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are holidays that occur in the 7th month (Tishrei). Also we have in this parsha the commandment for bringing the omer, over 7 weeks, and to keep the Shabbat, the 7th day.

The menorah fits in with this theme being a 7 branched candlelabra. The showbread arrangement also fits in, having 12 showbreads which were divided into 2 batches of 6. The holy table that showbread was placed on complements this amount, bringing this to a value of 7.

The repeated instances of this theme binds the menorah to the fundamental ideas in all these other events that serve as an opportunity for coming closer to Hashem: the holidays, omer, and of course Shabbat.

Light of the Menorah
The Orach Hachaim gives another reason, sparked by the verse "מחוץ לפרוכת עדות" - where one would think that the curtain (פרוכת) is providing testament (עדות). The Gemarah in Shabbat addresses this issue, saying why does this passage have to describe the lighting of the menorah, after all in the desert they received all their light from a pillar of fire.
does He then require its [menorah's] light: surely, during the entire forty years that the Israelites traveled in the wilderness they traveled only by His light [Cloud of Fire]! But it is a testimony to mankind  that the Divine Presence rests in Israel. 
This is another purpose of the seemingly superfluous lighting of the menorah - a testimony. What testimony? The special relationship of Am Yisrael with Hashem.

7 in the Light of the Menorah
So just as the various manifestations of 7 reinforce our relationship with Hashem at various events and experiences throughout the year, the menorah itself serves as a testimony for this relationship.  The menorah comes to remind us of the opportunities we have to come closer to Hashem, illuminating our unique purpose in the world.

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