Can the Rav please explain the ma’amar chazal that teaches us that Adam Ha’Rishon was a kofer bi’ikar (Sanhedrin 38b)?
I want to tell you something. If we would be anywhere near the level of Adam Ha’Rishon, who was kofer bi’ikar, we would be tzadikim gedolim. Only, that for him, it was called kofer bi’ikar. According to his opportunities, it was considered kofer bi’ikar.
Like Eisav, for example. Eisav was not a rasha the way we think about it. Like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel said, “Adayin lo hi’gati li’kibud av v’eim shel Eisav ha’rasha.” Raban Shimon ben Gamliel said that he never honored his mother and father to the high level that Eisav Ha’rasha did. So the question is – Why then, does Raban Shimon ben Gamliel call Eisav ha’rasha a “rasha?” If Eisav honored his father even more than Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, why call him a “rasha?” The answer is that when considering his opportunities, Eisav could be called a “rasha. The brother of Yakov. And the son of Yitzchok and Rivka. And to have a zeideh like Avraham Avinu. With such parents and such a family, much more is expected of you.
You must know that if you fail to live up to the opportunities presented to you, you’re called a “rasha.” And therefore you have to know, that many times when the Am Yisroel is blamed and criticized, it is not because they were “rah bi’einei” the people. They weren’t bad in the eyes of people. They were “rah bi’einei Hashem.”
Hashem has different standards for how he measures people. And every person must take his opportunities and use them to become more and more perfect in the eyes of Hashem. So was Adam Ha’Rishon a kofer bi’ikar?! I’m telling you, that if he was here in this room with us, he’d be the biggest ma’amin in this room. Nobody here is anything like him. Not even close.