1. When the Chashmonaim came into the Mikdash, they did not have the gold menorah that the Torah describes. The Tanaim (Avodah Zarah 43) discuss what the menorah they lit was made of, but whatever the answer, the original was lost.
If Hashem made a miracle to allow them to lite with pure undefiled olive oil (despite the fact that tumah hutra b'tzibur and they could have probably used tamei oil), why did Hashem not make a miracle to allow them to light with the real deal gold menorah?
This is the lesson of Chanukah, explains Rav Nevenzahl. Who would not be impressed with the beauty of a solid gold menorah? But that's not what we care about. External beauty is what the Greeks were all about. It's the oil that's hidden in the olive and has to be pressed out, that not's visible on the surface, that has no external beauty and doesn't catch your attention -- that's our focus.
2. An amazing statistic: "While three out of every four Israelis light Hanukkah candles "every evening," less than two of every three Jews (60%) in the States do so."
Quite honestly, I'm actually surprised that anywhere near 40% of American Jews light a menorah. My wife was just looking at Target yesterday and there was a little menorah decoration that was meant for hanging on your holiday tree. Does anything say America more than that?
3. The Midrash opens our parsha with a derasha on the pasuk "keitz sam la'choshech..." (Iyov 28:3) The pshat in the pasuk according to Rashi is that G-d decreed that in the future, when the end comes, all will ultimately come to darkness, as heaven and earth as they are now will cease to be. The derash is exactly the opposite, i.e. G-d will ultimately bring an end to the darkness of evil in the world. So too, says the Midrash, G-d decreed an end to the darkness of Yosef's captivity, and so Pharoah had his dream.
In other words, as R' Moshe Avigdor Amiel (in Hegyonos El Ami) points out, it was not Yosef's ability to interpret Pharoah's dream which was the cause of the termination of his prison sentence. Rather, it was G-d's decree that the time of Yosef's prison sentence was up which caused Pharoah to have that specific dream which only Yosef could interpret correctly.
4. Let me share with you another beautiful interpretation of R' Amiel's:
The Torah tells us that Yosef named his bechor Menashe because "nashani Elokim es kol amali v'es kol beis avi," (41:51) G-d helped Yosef forget all the toil he suffered through and forget his father's house.
Forget his father's house? Why would Yosef want to do that, or be proud of such callous behavior? Furthermore, in parshas VaYechi we learn that Yosef sent wagons, agalos, to bring Ya'akov to Mitzrayim. Chazal see this as a hint by Yosef that he still remembered the sugya of eglah arufah that he was learning with his father when he was sold. That doesn't sound like someone who forgot his father's house!
You could answer simply that "beis avi" does not mean Ya'akov; it means the brothers. Yosef meant that he forgot what had been done to him by the rest of the family and did not hold it against them.
Netziv (b'kitzur) and HaKsav v'HaKabbalah (b'arichus) both explain that Yosef understood his dreams to be a prophecy. Yosef of course wanted very much to communicate with his father, but had he done so he would have forfeited any chance of drawing his brothers and father down to Egypt and seeing those dreams / prophecy fulfilled. Therefore, "nashani **Elokim**" -- against his will, against what his emotions cried out for, the burden of nevuah placed upon him by Hashem caused Yosef to put aside the memory of his father's house for the sake of bringing that prophecy to fruition.
Rav Amiel (see Hirsch as well) offers a different interpretation. When you lend money to a poor person "lo ti'hiye lo k'nosheh," the Torah tells us in parshas Mishpatim. -- don't bug him and keep reminding him that he is obligated to you. "Ki nashani Elokim..." -- G-d obligated me. G-d saved you from prison, G-d gave you the benefit of growing up in the home of a Ya'akov Avinu -- go do something with that. The tremendous tovos that Hashem does for us obligate us to use those gifts to better ourselves and better the world around us.