The Parshah begins with the instruction for Aaron to light the Menorah in the Mishkan. The Menorah had seven branches made out of one lump of solid gold according to the fiery image that G‑d had shown Moses. Next we read about how Moses initiates the Levites to do their service in the Mishkan. Every man from the tribe of Levi between the ages of 20 and fifty served in the Mishkan by helping the Kohanim (priests) do their work.

Some background information on the next incident: What we're reading about here is the Jew's first year in the desert after they came out of Egypt. So as they neared the end of the year, they had to prepare for their first Passover. The most important part of celebrating Passover was bringing an offering in the Mishkan—the Paschal sacrifice (called the Korban Pesach). So, in this Parshah, G‑d commands the Jews to prepare and bring the sacrifice. But some of the people are impure (tameh) because they have come in contact with a dead body and so they can't bring the sacrifice.

Now, instead of just thinking, "Oh, too bad, we'll have to wait till next year," these people are really upset. So they go to Moses and say, "Why should we miss out on doing the mitzvah? We also want to bring the Paschal sacrifice!" Moses passes over their question to G‑d, asking what they should do. And lo and behold, G‑d tells them that they will get a second chance. Exactly a month after Passover will be Pesach Sheini—the Second Passover, when everybody who wasn't able to bring the Paschal Sacrifice in the right time has another opportunity to bring it. This is a very important story because it teaches us that it's never too late to do a good deed and that we always get a second chance.

Now we read a bit about how the Jews rested and camped in the desert. There was a "Cloud of Glory" over the Mishkan that represented G‑d's presence. Whenever the cloud was over the Mishkan, the Jews camped in that place. When the cloud lifted, they began traveling, until it came down again upon the Mishkan, when they stopped. G‑d also told Moses to make two silver trumpets. Different sounds were blown for different occasions: when Moses wanted to talk to the leaders of the tribe, when it was time to begin traveling, when Moses wanted to gather the whole nation, when the Jews were going to war, and when bringing the sacrifices on special holidays.

Every night, manna came down in the camp, and every morning, the people gathered and ate it. But now, after a year, the people complain that they are sick of eating the manna and want meat. G‑d promises to send them meat and the next day large swarms of quail come over the camp, and the Jews have more than enough meat to eat.

G‑d tells Moses to appoint seventy people to help him in his job; he does so and these seventy people get some of Moses' spirit.

Miriam says something bad about Moses and she gets stricken with tzaraat (remember learning about it in Parshat Tazria?). She has to be outside the camp for seven days, and the Jews don't travel for those seven days, waiting until she is healed.