It is known that Abraham was strong spiritually and physically. He won the war of the four kings. He was afraid of nothing but G-d. It is also known that Abraham tried to ask for mercy and tried to convince G-d not to destroy Sodom. Why didn't Abraham try to convince Sodom people to repent and regret for what they did. There could have been even a minor chance that the people change their behavior and Sodom could have been saved. Only after failing to convince them he could ask G-d for mercy? In addition, why didn't he ask G-d to give him chance to try to convince them to regret?

  • WOW, an interesting question! You might open a Pandora box here, comparing different leaders' behaviors - why Noah didn't ask, why Abraham and Moses didn't ask, etc. And why Yonah was asked to do the opposite.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 21, 2020 at 19:32
  • IMHO, I see two contradicting approaches in Jewish tradition: 1. we're the light to the nations and we're obligated to educate them (convert?) 2. we don't care about nations, we care about ourselves and our seclusion from the nations. Abraham's narrative is somewhere in the middle - he askes to withdraw the decree, but if God doesn't, Avraham doesn't care.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 21, 2020 at 19:37
  • 1
    למה אברהם לא החזיר בתשובה את אנשי סדום? qarov.org/… Oct 22, 2020 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


He did try.

It writes in the Midrash Aggadas Bereishis 25 here that Avraham specifically set up camp opposite Sodom and its surrounding cities so that he could receive those that passed by as Sodom and Amorah did not allow guests to enter the city.

  • Where does that source indicate that Avraham tried to convince people of Sodom to repent? It merely mentions that by default, he cornered the hospitality market in the region. Oct 22, 2020 at 16:18
  • He set up on the outskirts in order to receive people as they passed by - Avraham was the first kiruv professional do you think he just let them come, eat and go? That's why the text continues and says that Avraham reasoned, now that the city was overturned why should he stay
    – Dov
    Oct 22, 2020 at 17:31
  • The OP asked if Avraham tried to convince people of Sodom to repent. Granted, that Avraham likely tried to be “mekarev” the wayfarers, who were unwelcome to lodge in Sodom. However there is no indication that he had any access or interaction, with the residents of Sodom, per se. Oct 22, 2020 at 18:24
  • Why then did he specifically set up camp there then?
    – Dov
    Oct 22, 2020 at 18:27
  • It seems that Sodom was a popular place, which is precisely why the Sodomites outlawed hospitality to non-residents; in order to make immigration virtually impossible. Avraham realized that there was an opportunity to corner the hospitality market in the region, since he would be the sole hospitality provider in the area. Moreover his services were needed there the most, since unlike other places, in Sodom, there were absolutely no other options available to a wayfarer. However there is no indication in the Midrash, that Avraham was targeting the residents of Sodom, for “kiruv” purposes. Oct 22, 2020 at 18:50

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