And this was the work of the menorah: it was hammered [of a single piece of] gold (8:4)
The menorah represents the people of Israel — G-ds “light unto the nations.” Its many components attest to the fact that the Jewish nation is comprised of different tribes and includes individuals from all walks of life.
But even as the menorah’s form expresses the diversity within Israel, there are two laws which point to the menorahs integrity. One law concerns the making of the menorah, and the second law, the manner of its lighting.
An artifact of the menorah’s complexity is usually fashioned by first molding each of its parts on their and then welding them together. The menorah, however, was hammered out of a single piece of gold, originating as a single object and remaining a single object through the various stages of its construction to the finished product.
This represents the fact that while there are nations that are a coalition of variant groups, each formed by its own ancestry and experience but welded together by common interest and habitat, this is not the case with the Jewish people: all souls of Israel are of a single essence, and their division into distinct individuals is merely their investment into different bodies and physical lives.
The second law is that although the menorah sheds its light with seven lamps, they must all be turned toward the central stem, in keeping with G-d’s instruction to Aaron that “the seven lamps shall give light toward the face of the menorah.” This expresses the truth that although the soul of Israel shines not with a single light, but by means of a seven-lamp menorah representing the various prototypes of human character (the seven sefirot), at the same time, all lamps of the menorah face the body from which they extend, emphasizing their singular origin and their singular goal.
In other words: we all come from the same place, and we are all oriented toward the same goal. The differences are only in order to better express our Source and to more completely achieve our goal. Which makes them not differences, but the ultimate expression of oneness.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)