8 Asher : Zilpah, maidservant of Leah (a name meaning happiness, contentment, richness, affirmation)

Asher was the seventh son.
His mother was Zilpah, maidservant of Leah.
He was the full-brother of Gad.
The stone of Asher is called Tarshish. This is translated in the KJ (Exodus 28:20) as “beryl”. Other sources identify the stone of Tarshish as amber. The Midrash Rabah describes the standard of Asher as depicting an olive tree and Asher was associated with olive oil.
This corresponds to frequent colors of Amber. It could also apply to beryl but Amber is what we have chosen.

The name Tarshish reminds us that in Biblical and Rabbinicial terminology “Tarshish” could mean the Atlantic Ocean area in general. See:
Tarshish and the Atlantic Ocean.
Ancient Phoenician and other explorers visited Scandinavian waters in search of amber which is plentiful in the Baltic region. Amber was considered an extremely valuable stone at the time.

Asher has a name meaning happiness, contentment, richness, affirmation. The daughters of the Tribe of Asher had a good reputation and were sought after as wives by the Priests and Kings of Israel.
One source says that Asher was the happiest of all the Tribes. The word “Asher” is also part of the term “Asherah” which was a grove of trees dedicated to the goddess “Ashterot” (later worshipped under the name “Eostre” by the Anglo-Saxons) whose cult involved sexual licence. Asher was sensuous. Asher likes luxury and good-living even if it involves a degree of waste. Asher is also into health, fresh air, exercise, and so on. Asher is easy-going, and placatory, but his warriors were considered the pride of Israel. Asher is not certain of himself and seeks the affirmation of others. He is honest and upright. He goes out of his way to obtain legal and communal affirmation for his actions. Asher needs to be re-assured. He will follow rather than initiate.
Asher relies on intuition combined with whatever is conventionally acceptable rather than intellectual inquiry. Nevertheless Asher is intelligent and open to other opinions. Asher is often relatively succesful and gives the impression of not having to try especially hard to make well.
Asher is also quite generous and likes to see all around him and everyone he deals with get a fair share or at least a reasonable portion of what is available. This could be one of the secrets of his success. People like dealing with him.
Even though these characterizations are true concerning Asher as a whole one will always find exceptions. The same applies to all the Tribes whereby individuals will surface whose tendencies are diametrically opposed to those of the majority. We found Asher in Scandinavia as well as in Scotland. Ireland has also been proposed.
Another possibility is that many from Asher settled in Canada.
A University of Michigan List (2008) of the happiest nations in the world gave us:
Denmark, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Iceland, N. Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Austria

Another List from Professor Ruut Veenhoven who runs the World Database of Happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam gives slightly different results:
Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland, Finland, Australia, Sweden, Canada, Guatemala, Luxembourg

The Banner of Asher

Created by Natatie Palik
Available from Mona Hyde israelitribalflags@windstream.net

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