Kohen - First Aliya - 14 p'sukim - 8:1-8
[SDT] Rashi explains the connection between this portion and that of the gifts of the N'SI'IM at the end of Parshat Naso. Aharon, as leader of the tribe of Levi was embarrassed that he had not offered gifts for the dedication of the Mishkan as did the other leaders. G-d is telling him that his gift - daily service in the Mishkan - is far greater than the other gifts. Theirs are material and transitory; his is spiritual and permanent.
The MITZVA to tend and light the Menora is recorded and counted elsewhere in the Torah. This fact makes the DRASHOT explaining the connection to Parshat HaN'si'im stand out all the more, since the P'SHAT is sort of redundant (not quite).
Ramban sees in this portion an allusion to a future generation when Aharon's descendants (the Hasmoneans) (re)dedicated the Mikdash by lighting the Menora.
If we look at the two topics that flank chapter 7, we find the two Temple practices that survive until this day (as opposed to the short-lived nature of the gifts described in chapter 7) - Birkat Kohanim, still practiced daily as commanded by the Torah, and the Menora, commemorated by the yearly observance of Chanuka. This perhaps is part of G-d's message to Aharon.
Next G-d commands Moshe to separate the Leviyim from among the People and to purify them. Ritual waters, shaving their hair, cleansing their clothes, and various sacrifices and ceremonies accomplish this "separation".
Moshe, Aharon and the People of Israel did to the Leviyim as Moshe was instructed. After purification, the Leviyim were to come to the Mishkan to "report for duty".
From age 25 until 50, the Levi was eligible for Mishkan service. (From 25-30 the Levi studied and trained for Temple service, at 30 he began serving. Age 50 was the retirement age for the "carrying chores", but the singing and guarding functions of the Levi continued beyond that age).
[This Pesach Sheni episode occurred before the counting of the People as recorded in the opening portion of Bamidbar. It was not placed at the beginning of the book because it is embarrassing to the People of Israel that they (we) only brought one Korban Pesach in the entire Wilderness period.]
Then the Torah tells us that there were people who were ritually unclean and thus unable to participate in the Korban Pesach. They approached Moshe and complained that it was unfair that they were unable to join in this mitzva with the rest of the People.
Moshe called upon G-d to answer their "complaint".
[It is important to understand that the laws of Pesach Sheni are a part of the original Torah miSinai. However they were not revealed to the People until this point.]
A person who is "tamei" or far away from the Mikdash and is unable to bring the K.P. shall bring K.P. on the afternoon of the 14th of Iyar  and eat it that night  with matza and maror. Nothing of it may be left over for the morning  and no bone of it may be broken ; all rules of K.P. apply to this Pesach Sheni (actually there are differences concerning peripheral details, but the korbanot themselves are the same). Intentionally not bringing K.P. is punishable by "karet" (excision).
Note: Although the Torah mentions two specific "excuses" for not bringing K.P., anyone who did not bring K.P. for any reason - including someone who intentionally did not bring it - is eligible and obligated to bring Pesach Sheni.
The Torah once again emphasizes that there is one law for the born-Jew and the convert.
POINT: A non-Jew who converts between the Pesachs, would not have been allowed to eat of the first Pesach.
He would bring Pesach Sheni as a (new) Jew.
POINT: A woman is obligated on Korban Pesach (the first one, on the 14th of Nissan), just as a man is obligated. Even though it is time-related, it is part of the package deal of Pesach mitzvot, which includes the prohibitions of Chametz, and we are dealing with THE set of mitzvot at the hub of Jewish life - "everything" is related to Y'tzi'at Mitzrayim - women are obligated.
Pesach Sheni is different. It is more the "classic" time-related positive mitzva, and women are exempt. However, a woman who wants to bring P2 (if the conditions for P2 are present, of course), may do so. But not on Shabbat. Then, she must be part of a CHABURA that includes a man. This is so because an optional korban cannot push aside Shabbat; only a required one can (and the man's P2 is a requirement).
The pasuk (9:18) says: "AL PI HASHEM (by the word of G-d) the People of Israel shall travel, and by G-d's word they shall camp." The SHLA"H HAKADOSH writes that this is the source for the concept that a person should use the phrases Im Yirtzeh HaShem, Baruch HaShem, B'ezrat HaShem, and the like whenever he speaks of doing something. Our travels and every activity should also be AL PI HASHEM.
G-d commanded Moshe to fashion two silver trumpets  to be used to assemble the People (or their leaders) and to signal their movement. The T'KIYA sound on both trumpets was a call for everyone to gather to Moshe. The T'KIYA on one trumpet was a call to the leaders of the people. The T'RU'A sound indicated that traveling was to commence - one T'RU'A for each camp (of three tribes each). Kohanim are charged with the mitzva of sounding the trumpets when appropriate.
The above-mentioned purposes of the trumpets applied to the generation of the wilderness only, but the mitzva for future generations concerning the trumpets is as follows:
When the People enter the Land of Israel, the trumpets are to be used during times of troubles and on festive occasions during Temple service.
When does the mitzva apply? The blowing of the CHATZOTZROT in the Beit HaMikdash, to accompany the offering of certain korbanot, obviously applies when the Beit HaMikdash is standing. What about the blowing during crises? Some authorities hold that the mitzva does not apply in our time - only at the time of the Mikdash. Some say that this aspect of the mitzva would apply in our time except that we do not know how to make CHATZOTZROT, and therefore we cannot fulfill this mitzva on a "technicality". Others disagree and hold that the mitzva of blowing in times of trouble DOES apply and we use CHATZOTZROT made today to the best of our knowledge and ability.
Rabbi J. David Bleich in his Contemporary Halachic Problems mentions a fascinating opinion on this topic. Rather than the Mikdash being a requirement for this mitzva, it is Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael that activates the mitzva of CHATZOTZROT (just the blowing for crisis aspect). Therefore, according to this opinion, we are dealing with a mitzva - maybe the only one - that reactivated in 1948.
Be that as it may (as the expression goes), there are CHATZOTZROT that have been made for the performance of the mitzva, and - unfortunately - they have been blown - by kohanim - on several occasions in the past many years. The CHATZOTZROT, if they are accepted by a future Sanhedrin, stand ready to be fully activated for the third Beit HaMikdash. May we soon hear their happy blasts.
Moshe informs his father-in-law Yitro of Israel's traveling plans and asks him to come along. Yitro declines the invitation and returns to his home.
At this point in the Torah, we are 13 months out of Egypt and neither the people nor Moshe Rabeinu have done what later caused them to be barred from entry into Eretz Yisrael. After Moshe talks to Yitro, it was supposed to be a three-day trip (condensed into one day) to bring us WITH Moshe, into the Land of Israel. But then we started messing things up.
Next follows another "black period" in the early history of the Nation - the Complaints. The People complained and were punished. They complained about the Manna and demanded meat. With great chutzpa, they remembered the fish and other "fine foods" they ate in Egypt. And they disparaged the wonderful, miraculous sustenance from G-d.
Even Moshe Rabeinu complained about G-d's anger with the People and expressed his difficulty in handling the People alone. Moshe also questioned where he would possibly be able to get enough meat to satisfy the People's demands.
G-d told Moshe to gather 70 elders who would help ease the burden of leadership. G-d would instill in them the Divine Insight so that Moshe would not have to lead them alone.
To the People, G-d promised meat (quail) which would descend in such great quantities for a sustained period of time (a month) until the People would become "sick of them". Moshe expressed doubt as to how so many people could be thus fed. G-d reproaches Moshe for the doubt. Moshe speaks to the People and gathers the Elders who were given the gift of prophecy by G-d.
Two of these "new prophets" (Eldad and Medad) remained within the camp and prophesied amongst the People. (Commentaries tell us that they prophesied Moshe's death and Yehoshua's accession to leadership.) Yehoshua, protective of his mentor Moshe, pleads with him to punish them. Moshe assures Yehoshua that it is G-d's will that they should prophesy.
Miriam speaks critically against Moshe to Aharon by belittling Moshe's unique stature among prophets and people. G-d rebukes them and clearly states how unique Moshe is among all prophets, past and future. Miriam is stricken with Tzora'at. Moshe offers a short but eloquent prayer on behalf of his sister. The People delay their travels for the week of Miriam's isolation. (81 years previously, Miriam had stood by the Nile protectively watching over her baby brother Moshe in the basket. Her "reward-in-kind" is this 7-day delay. The Mishna points out that good deeds are thusly rewarded.)
The haftara contains Zecharya's vision of the Golden Menora flanked by olive branches. This serves as an appropriate counterpoint to the description of the Menora in the Mishkan at the beginning of the sedra. The Haftara also tells about a Kohen Gadol (Yehoshua in the haftara, corresponding to Aharon in the sedra).
This vision of the Menora was borrowed by the State of Israel to be the national emblem (not exactly, but close). Wouldn't it be wonderful if our leaders would heed the words of the prophet in explaining that vision: "Not by might nor by power, but by My spirit..." Only when we act properly, which is also differently from the nations of the world, will we merit redemption.