A Light Unto the Nations
Rashi cites the Midrash which explains that this was to demonstrate that G-d did not need the light of the menorah for His own purpose. Our Sages point out that the light of the menorah was a spiritual generator of wisdom for the entire world.
When we hear this week's Torah portion read in our synagogues we should think of the menorah described in it as a symbol of the Jewish people and our historic mission as a "light unto the nations". At a time when there is such widespread vilification of the Jewish state we must learn the lesson that neither power nor politics will enable us to fulfill this mission and only the light of Torah wisdom will secure Israel forever.