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The eighth law revealed on this day was the lighting of the candlestick. After all the princes of the tribes had brought their gifts to the sanctuary, and God had bidden Moses to let them offer each his offering, one a day, throughout twelve days, Aaron, profoundly agitated, thought: "Woe is me! It seems as if, owing to my sin, my tribe has been excluded by God from participating in the dedication of the sanctuary." Hereupon God said to Moses: "Go to Aaron and say to him, 'Do not fear that thou art slighted, and art deemed inferior to the other princes of the tribes. Thou, on the contrary, shalt enjoy a greater glory than all of these, for thou art to light the lamps of the candlestick in the sanctuary.'" When Israel heard God's command that the lights of the sanctuary be lighted, they said: "O Lord of the world! Thou biddest us make a light for Thee that are the light of the world, and with whom light dwelleth." But God replied: "Not because I need your light do I bid you burn lamps before Me, but only the I might thereby distinguish you in the eyes of the nations that will say, 'Behold the people of Israel, that hold up a light before Him who bestoweth light upon the world.' By your own eye-sight can you see how little need I have of your light. You have the white of the eye and the black of the eye, and it is by means of this dark part of the eye that you are enabled to see, and not through the light part of the white of the eye. How should I, that am all light, have need of your light!" God furthermore said: "A mortal of flesh and blood lights one light by means of another that is burning, I have brought forth light out of darkness: 'In the beginning darkness was upon the face of the deep,' whereupon I spake, 'Let there be light: and there was light.' Shall I now be in need of your illumination? Nay, I commanded you to light the candles in the sanctuary that I might distinguish you and give you another opportunity of doing a pious deed, the execution of which I will reward in the future world by letting a great light shine before you; and, furthermore, if you will let the candles shine before Me in My sanctuary, I shall protect from all evil your spirit, 'the candle of the Lord.'" [418]

Simultaneously with the command to light the sanctuary, Moses received the instruction to celebrate the Sabbath by the lighting of candles, for God said to him: "Speak unto the children of Israel; if you will observe My command to light the Sabbath candles, I shall permit you to live to see Zion illuminated, when you will no longer require the light of the sun, but My glory will shine before you so that the nations will follow your light." [419]

Aaron was distinguished not only by being selected to dedicate the sanctuary through the lighting of the candles, God ordered Moses to communicate to his brother the following revelation: "The sanctuary will on another occasion also be dedicated by the lighting of the candles, and then it will be done by the descendants, the Hasmoneans, for whom I will perform miracles and to whom I will grant grace. Hence there is greater glory destined for thee than for all the other princes of the tribes, for their offerings to the sanctuary shall be employed only so long as it endures, but the lights of the Hanukkah festival will shine forever; and, moreover, thy descendants shall bestow the priestly blessing upon Israel even after the destruction of the Temple." [420]

The candlestick that Aaron lighted in the sanctuary, was not the common work of mortal hands, but was wrought by a miracle. When God bade Moses fashion a candlestick, he found it difficult to execute the command, not knowing how to set to work to construct it in all its complicated details. God therefore said to Moses: "I shall show thee a model." He then took white fire, red fire, and green fire, and black fire, and out these four kinds of fires He fashioned a candlestick with its bowls, its knops, and its flowers. Even then Moses was not able to copy the candlestick, whereupon God drew its design upon his palm, saying to him: "look at this, and imitate the design I have drawn on thy palm." But even that did not suffice to teach Moses how to execute the commission, whereupon God bade him cast a talent of gold into the fire. Moses did as he was bidden, and the candlestick shaped itself out of the fire. As on this occasion, so upon other occasions also did God have to present the things tangibly before Moses in order to make certain laws intelligible to him. In this way, for example, at the revelation concerning clean and unclean animals, God showed one specimen of each to Moses, saying: "This ye shall eat, and this ye shall not eat." [421]

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