Baal haTurim famously writes that Moshe's name is not mentioned in our parsha because after cheit ha'eigel, Moshe pleaded with Hashem to forgive Bn"Y or "micheini na mi'sifricha," erase my name from your book. How does that translate into his name being removed from our parsha? And why was Moshe so concerned that there would be no mechila for cheit ha'eigel? Teshuvah has the power to wipe away any aveira, doesn't it?
"Mah Hashem sho'oel m'imach ki im l'yirah." "All Hashem wants from us is yiras shamayim," Moshe says later in sefer Devarim. The gemara asks: when the pasuk says that's all Hashem wants, it implies that this isn't much to ask for. How can that be -- yiras shamayim is far from a trivial request! The gemara answers: yes, for Moshe, "l'gabei Moshe," it is but a little thing.
Maybe for Moshe maybe yiras shamayim is not such a big thing, but how does that help the the rest of us?
Some of the meforshim explain that when the gemara says "l'gabei Moshe" it is a little thing, it doesn't mean "for Moshe," but rather "near Moshe." When you live in the presence of a tzadik, then yiras shamayim is easy to attain.
Teshuvah can wipe the slate clean from even the biggest sins, but it has to be heartfelt repentance that reflects a true and sincere change of direction. "L'gabei Moshe," when you are in the presence of greatness, sometimes it's a little too easy to give the right answer, to give the expected answer, to do the right thing. When the principal is standing in the classroom, the students are all perfectly behaved, but that doesn't mean the same will hold true once he walks out of the room. Hashem of course accepts teshuvah even for a sin like cheit ha'eigel, but the midas ha'din might question whether the teshuvah of Bn"Y was due only to Moshe standing in the room, only due to the influence of his presence, and therefore was lacking.
Moshe therefore said to Hashem, "Micheini na..." Take me out of the picture, out of the book. If my presence is causing the teshuvah of Bn"Y to be called into question, to be suspect, then let's see what happens without my influence. That will prove that Bn"Y are not just doing it for me.
The parsha of hadlakas ha'menorah by Aharon appears at the beginning of Beha'aloscha right after the Nesiim brought their gifts for the chanukas ha'mishkan. The Midrash relates that Aharon was upset that his sheiveit was not included in those gifts and offerings. Hashem consoled him and told Aharon that his task was even greater, as he had the privilegeof lighting the menorah.
Ramban asks: why did Hashem console Aharon with the task of lighting the menorah? Aharon was the one who offered korbanos, who could offer ketores, who did avodah on Yom Kippur. Surely these tasks were more indicative of Aharon's unique role than hadlakas ha'menorah, which can be done even by someone who is not a kohen.
Shem m'Shmuel (Bhaaloscha 5677) quotes the gemara in Megillah:
בקשו מלאכי השרת לומר שירה אמר הקב"ה מעשה ידי טובעין בים ואתם אומרים שירה אמר רבי אלעזר הוא אינו שש אבל אחרים משיש ודיקא נמי דכתיב כן ישיש ולא כתיב ישוש ש"מ
Similar to the gemara's distinction between "yasis," making others happy, and "yisos," rejoicing oneself, Sm"S notes that the leader of each sheivet is called a "Nasi," not a "Naso" -- it's a transitive verb. The Nasi inspired and elevated their sheivet; the position was not just about personal honor.
This is what Aharon was jealous of. Of course Aharon was the one who offered korbanos, who offered ketores, but what about inspiring his sheivet, what about inspiring Klal Yisrael?
Hashem's response is the command to light menorah. B'haaloscha es ha'neiros -- the neiros are elevated, it is a bottom-up process. In R' Tzadok's lexicon the menorah represents Torah shebaa'l peh, that which emanates from a person's mind and heart, as opposed to Torah sheb'ksav which is dictated and received as-is.
R' Tzadok haKohen (Pri Tzadik, Titzaveh 2):
אמנם הדלקת הנרות במקדש ירמז על הופעת אור תורה מאור הגנוז בנפשות ישראל בתורה שבעל פה וזה הכח ניתן לאהרן להופיע ולהאיר בלב ישראל אור תורה שבעל פה על ידי הדלקת הנרות וז"ש (פ"א דאבות) הוי מתלמידיו של אהרן כו' אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה
Netziv comments on our parsha:
ולזה הכח הנפלא שנקרא ׳תלמוד׳ ניתן כח המנורה אשר נכללו בה שבע חכמות וכל כוחות הנדרשים לפלפולה של תורה. וכל זה נכלל בכפתורים ופרחים, עד דאיתא בב״ר (צא,ט) ׳ר׳ טרפון, בשעה שהיה שומע דבר מתוקן היה אומר כפתור ופרח׳, ושיח רבן של ישראל ללמדנו בא, שמה שתלמיד ותיק מחדש דבר טוב הוא ע״י כח שנרמז בכפתור ופרח של המנורה. ועל כן, בבית שני שרבו ישיבות והעמידו תלמידים הרבה להויות דאביי ורבא שהוא התלמוד, משום הכי נתחזק כח המנורה ע״י נס דחנוכה.
Moshe is the one who dictated Torah sheb'ksav to us, but Aharon is the one brought out the Torah shebaa'l peh within each Jew, who inspired and uplifted, who was capable of b'haaloscha, of אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה
Therefore, it is our parsha which opens with the mitzvah of menorah which is the response to micheini na. Even outside the sphere of influence of Moshe, even beyond what we receive as Torah sheb'skav, the light of menorah shows that there can be a flourishing of Torah.