It seems that casino gambling might lure anyone, but certainly not Jews. But even though it is very difficult and painful for Jews to part with their money, the opposite is also true. It is interesting that in almost any casino in any part of the world one always hears an unusual Hebrew speech. In fact, in almost every Israeli family there is a gambling addict. This is influenced by the status of the Jew, because if he can afford to travel abroad, then visiting a foreign casino for him will be the most important mission of the entire trip. In recent times it has become fashionable to go on vacation only to gamble, and when people vacation, they lose all the money they brought with them.
Many people are against gambling and even support bills to ban it. For example, the ultra-Orthodox advocate it. Traditionally, they have always had large families, but their incomes are small. They argue that gambling is a dubious pleasure, so the peace in any family is much more important. But everyone knows that any business, including gambling, should be approached sensibly, then you can not only achieve your goals, but also have a good rest.
But it became clear a long time ago that the ban on gambling on the contrary exaggerates the problems of gambling addiction. When there are legal casinos, gamblers, for the most part, have a sensible attitude toward recreational gambling. But with the widespread opening of underground casinos, players lose both their sanity and the meaning of a good holiday. The atmosphere is pressured by the ban, so a person subconsciously looking for a reason to go against it. And there is no saving the lack of open information, the willing will always find a place to cool his passion for the game.
Until quite recently, Jews could use the services of a wide variety of casinos. For example, the most interesting were the floating casinos at the Eilat resort on the Red Sea. When the ship sailed into neutral waters, a different life began on board, full of bright colors of entertaining gambling. It was possible to enjoy and original holiday – casino tourism in Turkey. Tourist paid flight and hotel accommodation, and the amount of money on which he will rest in the casino is up to him.
Now casinos with comfortable service and excellent service are available only abroad. But there is an option for people who are not able to go abroad, an online casino. Using the services of such a casino can get even more pleasure from the game, because in the comfort of the home player absolutely nothing confuses.
Do Jews play poker among professional poker players during Purim?
Purim is Judaism’s most joyous and carnivalesque holiday. On this day it is allowed not only to pray, but also to give up fasting, and to dress in the fanciest costumes. Well, it is the sacred duty of every Jew to give to the poor on Purim.
Drinking wine and having fun is one of the main commandments of the holiday.
We need to get drunk to the point when we won’t be able to tell the blessings of the Purim hero Mordechai from the curses of the wicked Haman.
To work on this day? No, it is not considered a blessed thing to do! Only poor people with empty stomachs are allowed to attend services.
I wonder if Jews will play professional poker players on this day.
They certainly wouldn’t be described as needy. Although some take religious customs very seriously.
In 2012, for example, one of the players of the Main Event of the World Series Jarrett Nash did not show up to the tournament because it was the Sabbath.
When tournament organizers called him at his hotel room, he told them it was the Sabbath. And he didn’t look upset in the slightest.
“I knew from the beginning that if I made it through the tournament until Saturday, I would be out of the game early. That’s the day we have to give up any physical activity,” Jarrett said.
Nash’s stack was far from his worst – 500,000 chips. But by refusing to play, he was ranked 171st and received only $45,000. Surely this Shabbat Jareth Nash won’t show up at the casino either.
The most respected Jew in the community is nicknamed “Robin Hood of Poker.” He is so nicknamed because while winning millions, he never forgets about those who need help. Barry Greenstein has been involved in charity for many years and gives a portion of his winnings to the poor.
We have no doubt that on this day he won’t just be having fun, drinking wine and eating sweet cakes, but also spending a solid amount of money on gifts to the needy.
Is the Law allows gambling?
In addition to the halakhic problems mentioned, there are also many moral and ethical problems associated with gambling. Let us consider some of them.
The Reishit Hochma (Sha’ar Kdusha 12) says that gambling is forbidden, even when not played for money, since the company of players is “a gathering of mockers.” The Mishnah Brurah (Beur Halacha 671), in considering the custom of having a festive meal on Hanukkah, speaks strongly against those who spend that time gambling, and says that decent people should beware of such activities.
Gambling is often the cause of family problems and even divorce. Already in the era of rishoynim (early commentators) discussed the issue of family relationships ruined because of passion for gambling. The Rosh (respondent 82:2) answers the question of a woman who demands a divorce because of her husband’s gambling addiction. The Ritvo (146), in turn, answers the question of a bride’s family who decided to break off the engagement after learning that the groom was addicted to gambling.