“Adam – a man, who wants to bring an offering to draw closer to God,”
Rashi wonders about the choice of the word, Adam rather than Ish. He explains that God is teaching us that “Just as Adam, the primal human being, did not bring an offering from something that was stolen, as everything was his, so too, you should never bring an offering from something stolen.”
But Adam did steal! He ate from the Tree that was not his. Obviously, you will say, that the verse and Rashi are referring to Adam before the sin.
Could be. I don’t think so. There is no mention of a sacrifice. There wasn’t much of an opportunity for him to offer a Korban before the sin.
I suspect that Rashi is referring to Adam AFTER the sin. He only understood how to offer a Korban after the sin and its punishment and consequences:
Rabbi Josef B. Soloveitchik, in a shiur recorded by Rabbi Abraham Besdin in Reflections of the Rav, taught that: “The prohibition was intended to teach Adam the concept of Adnut, that God is not only the world’s Creator and Sustainer, but also its owner. The command to not eat of the Tree was intended to teach Adam that all benefits and pleasures are gifts of God, Who offers them selectively and conditionally. They are privileges that are granted, not prizes freely to be taken. Adam viewed the world as Hefker – ownerless property. He accepted that God was the Creator and Sustainer; this was indisputable to him. But he was unwilling to concede that God had retained proprietary rights over His creation; he refused to recognize any “no trespassing” restrictions. Rather, Adam claimed for himself carte blanche rights to partake as he pleased.”
Adam did not accept God as Adon or Konei HaKol – The Owner of all things – before the sin. The punishment and consequences of the sin taught him that God is Adon – Master and Owner. Only then, did Adam truly “own” all he could possibly offer to God.
This then, is what Rashi is teaching us: only after we acknowledge the Adnut – Absolute Mastery of God and His Ownership of All, can we bring a proper offering.
And there’s more.
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