“On the eleventh day, the prince of the tribe of Asher: [His offering was….]”1 [Referring to that verse,] the Midrash states:2

All the tribes were given names that reflect the redemption of Israel and her praise. Asher (אשר) was named for the sake of the redemption of Israel, as it is written:3 “ ‘And all the nations shall praise4 (אשרו) you, for you will be a land of desire,’ says the G‑d of hosts.” And Asher was named for [Israel’s] praise, as it is written:5 “Fortunate6 (אשרי) is the nation whose lot is this; fortunate is the nation whose G‑d is the L‑rd.”

Israel’s good fortune is solely that she chose the Holy One, blessed be He, to be her G‑d7 and that G‑d chose her to be His cherished nation. Therefore when the prince of Asher came to offer his sacrifices, he offered those sacrifices in recognition of G‑d’s choice of Israel over all the nations, as it is written:8 “And G‑d has chosen you this day to be His cherished people.”

[The passage] requires explanation: Initially, the Midrash states that the good fortune of Israel is that they chose the Holy One, blessed be He. (Though [the Midrash continues by saying] that G‑d chose the Jewish people, that appears to be mentioned as a secondary point.)9 Afterwards, however, the Midrash states that the sacrifice of [the tribe of] Asher (who was so named because of Israel’s good fortune) was brought because the Holy One, blessed be He, chose Israel. [It is thus necessary to understand why the focus was switched from the Jewish people’s choice of G‑d to G‑d’s choice of the Jewish people.]

It is also necessary to understand [why the term “choice” is used]. This term is relevant when one chooses between two equal entities or between two entities when each possesses a superiority that the other does not possess.10 How then is the term “choice” used to describe Israel’s choice of the Holy One, blessed be He, over false gods?11 A similar question applies with regard to G‑d’s choice of Israel. Since Israel is incomparably superior to all other nations, why is it said that the Holy One, blessed be He, chose Israel?

Tanya12 states that the phrase13 “And You chose us from all nations and tongues” refers to the body which, in its physical form, appears to resemble the bodies of the nations.14 Explanation is also required here. (Seemingly,) the fact that the bodies of the Jewish people resemble the bodies of the non-Jews (externally) is not sufficient explanation [why the term “choice”] is used with regard to G‑d[‘s choice of the Jewish people].15