And the Lord went His way, when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place” Genesis 18:33
WHEN God said that he was going to destroy the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham pleaded with him to spare them. But his entreaties were unsuccessful and the Torah states that when God proceeded with his plans “Abraham returned to his place”.
An instinctive interpretation of this verse is that Abraham went back to wherever his tent was pitched, presumably somewhat dejected and disappointed with the results of his dialogue with God. But that might not be an accurate understanding of what the verse means, because it is unnecessary for the Torah to burden us with mere narrative.
An alternative interpretation is provided by the Spanish 13th-century commentator Rabbenu Behaye, who suggested that the intent of the Torah was to tell us that Abraham returned to his old ways of providing hospitality to wayfarers.
This interpretation is not only teaching us what the verse might mean. It also provides us with an important lesson about the nature of religious commitment. Considering his lack of success in changing the divine will, Abraham might well