Avraham returned on his journey back to Eretz Yisrael. Rashi comments that he repaid his debts from his travels down to Egypt.
Many are familiar with a story about the Chofetz Chaim: He had to mail a letter and he found somebody that was going to that destination. He asked that person if he would please deliver the letter, and when the person agreed to do so, the Chofetz Chaim ripped up the postage stamp that had been on the envelope. When this story was said over to a person who did know the saintliness of the Chofetz Chaim, he rejected this story, saying it could not be true. To that responded the teller, “it may not be true, but they do not say similar stories about you!”
We obviously believe this story to be true, because we know the saintliness and scrupulousness of the Chofetz Chaim, and how he did not want to transgress even in the slightest way on the prohibition of stealing. We feel proud to have leaders such as the Chofetz Chaim, and we take these stories seriously, using them to bolster our awareness to act properly in our monetary dealings with others.
I heard in the name of the Chida a question discussed by many mefarshim: Avraham was going down to Egypt without any date of return. Who would lend such transient a person money?! The Chida suggests that many charitable organizations sell products to the public. While someone who is financially stable pays full price, people with lesser abilities receive a discount based on their financial ability and pay accordingly. When Avraham went down, he obviously did not have enough money to pay full price for his supplies, and he was given the discounted price (he was not lent any money). When he returned, he was a rich man, and although he received his discount legitimately, and had no legal obligation to pay the difference, he nonetheless paid the difference in price to be an upstanding person.
Not only do I feel proud to be associated with the Chofetz Chaim, the knowledge that the Chofetz Chaim was acting on the principals set down by “our grandfather” helps to empower me to do the same.
How should this impact on your life? While developing this piece, I recalled a question I was once asked. A Jew bought an item at full price, and a short time later that item went on sale. He asked me “May I return the item, receive my money back, and turn around and buy it at the discounted price?” I would suggest that that person ask his grandfather Avraham Avinu what to do!