The passuk states בהעלתך את הנרות. Rashi explains the Torah describes lighting with the lashon aliya, ascending. This reflects that one needs to light the menorah until the flame will continue to burn on its own. Rashi brings another explanation, from here we derive that there was a step to ascend before the menorah on which the kohen would stand to clean out the ash in the lamp. The Sifsei Chachomim brings b’shem the Re’eim that both of these ideas can be equally derived from the word בהעלתך.
HaRav Moshe Feinstein zatzal asks, this rule of including two equal things only applies where they are of the same concept. Here they are two different points, one is about the flame and the other about a step; if so how can we derive both points?
HaRav Moshe answers that these two things are similar. The kohen who needs to light until the flame ascends on its own hints that one needs to give over a discourse until the students can understand it completely on their own. This will happen when the Rebbi went through the entire sugya and prepared it thoroughly. This is similar to cleaning out the menorah. The menorah was eighteen tefachim, and the kohen was able to reach the top to clean out its ash while standing on the ground. However he wasn’t able to see inside the lamp to check and clarify that it was entirely clean. Rabboseinu teach there is a step to ascend so the kohen can peer into the lamp and check that it is totally clean. So too a Rebbi needs to know every topic that he is teaching thoroughly to enable the students to learn and internalize the lesson.
I heard from Rabbi Berkowitz shlita another lesson from the flame ascending on its own. A Rebbi or father is responsible to teach in a way that the child will do on his own that which he was taught. There is a saying, “When the cats are away the mice come out to play.” The test to determine whether a Rebbi taught well or a father was successful with a proper upbringing, is how the child behaves when he is on his own.
May Hashem help us teach our students and raise our children to be able to understand, internalize, and practice the lessons they learn.