The Conciliating Aspect of the Tribe of Asher
Asher tends to Pacify and Conciliate
Based on "Shvitei Yisrael" by Fishel Mael
The symbol of Asher was an olive tree. His territory was known for its olive oil.
20 Bread from Asher shall be rich,
And he shall yield royal dainties.
The expression "Bread from Asher shall be rich" in Hebrew is "ma-Asher shemeno lachmo". This could alternately be understood as saying, "From out of AsherÂ his food [bread] is oil [or rich]". The word for oil ("Shemen") in Hebrew also connotes "fat, rich, strong, prosperous".
In light of the above the Commentator Alshick (Moshe Alshich, also spelled Alshech,1508-1593, Safed, Israel), comments that the expression "from out of" ("from out of Asher.. ..) is superfluous. The explanation is that even though the Land of Israel in general flows with milk and honey, the portion of Asher is the richer. This is not because his section is naturally more fertile than the others. On the contrary, it is rather that from out of Asher himself, i.e. due to his innate virtue, does the richness emanate.Â
This explanation was agreed to by the Or HaChaim and by the Natziv.
The personality characteristic of Asher was that of pleasantness, which is appropriate for olive oil. [Olive oil smooths things over].Â Asher with his pleasant good nature would bring peace and harmony to the other tribes and quell their arguments (Midrash Yalkut Shimeoni, 962; Sifrei).
The name Asher connotes happy, happiness but it is cgnote to the word "osher" meaning richness, wealth. [Osher begins wqith the letter "ayin" whereas "asher" start with "aleph". Â This would normally lead us to suppose that the two words were unrelated and derive from differing word root. Neverthless Mattityahu Glazerson (on another issue) brings sources showing that often the letter ayin in one word root when paralleled by aleph in another indicates a strengthening in the quality indicated: The two letters may interchange with each other in order to indicate a different nuance of the same general Â measure e.g. avel (with an aleph) indicates criminal irresponsibility, foolishness whereas evil (with an ayin) means wicked maliciousness. Â The one is a strengthening of the other.
The Tribes of Asher on the whole was wealthy and prosperous. People from Asher may often succeed without overduly trying. The Commentaries quoted above seem to take it for granted that the relative wealth of Asher Â was a natural outcome of his peace-making conciliatory qualities. In other goods do good to people, try and make it good for others, avoid contentions and bitterness and things may well go very well for you.
Asher (as we shall see) was also a natural warrior so that underneath a laid-back happy-go-lucky mollifying demean there was also something of a hard-working, aggressive, go-getter. Asher would try not to offend people but it might not pay for others to gratuitouously offend him.