Further explanation is necessary, [for it appears that the “clever person’s” choice of the king is an intellectual decision]. This applies even according to the explanation that he is not choosing the king because of his desire for personal benefit, but because of his realization of the king’s eminence. This realization motivates him to forego the abundant influence that comes from [the intermediaries]. Thus the “clever person’s” choice of the king appears to stem from his understanding.1 He realizes that since “all the others are subject to replacement2 while the king is not subject to replacement,” it is befitting3 to forego the abundant influence conveyed by the “officers”4 and choose the limited influence that comes from the king himself.

Nevertheless, from the fact that the Midrash associates the [“clever person’s”] choice of the king with the verse, “ ‘G‑d is my portion,’ says my soul,” it appears that the Jews’ choice of G‑d stems from their souls (because their souls are “an actual part of G‑d from Above”)5 which thus [seek to cleave to their source because of an innate spiritual desire] that transcends intellect.6

[Thus there is an apparent contradiction: If the choice comes from the soul’s inherent G‑dly nature, how is it connected with the wisdom of the “clever person”? And if the choice is motivated by logic, what connection does it have to the soul’s innate desire for G‑dliness?]

The core of the resolution is that, as it exists on its own, mortal logic compels a person to desire his own personal benefit. That is the reason why the nations of the world chose the officers even though they can also understand that the king is of fundamental importance. ([After all, if the rationale] “all the others are subject to replacement7 while the king is not subject to replacement” [is a logical imperative, seemingly, they should also comprehend it]). [Nevertheless,] since their fundamental nature is characterized by yeshus, self-concern, they do not want to forego the benefit they will receive from the officers.8 [Their fundamental self-concern prevents them from internalizing the awareness of the truth of G‑d’s prominence.]

Conversely, the reason that Jews feel compelled to forego the benefit [they could receive from the officers] and instead, [rise above] their self-concern and choose G‑dliness, is because of their souls,9 (i.e., because their souls are “a part of G‑d”). Thus their choice of G‑d is an essential choice that transcends logic and reason. (For their choice is not motivated by [their awareness of] G‑d’s eminence — i.e., that “the King is not subject to replacement” — but rather by His Essence. Nevertheless, [their essential bond with G‑d] affects their thinking processes as well,10 causing their minds to realize that since G‑d is true Being, that He is alive and exists everlastingly — i.e., “the King is not subject to replacement” — they should forego their own self-concern and choose G‑dliness.