You’ve heard the one about Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas, but have you heard the one about playing cards?
It’s true! And even more-so than the Chinese food “tradition”. For years, rabbis have been in agreement that gambling on Christmas eve isn’t such a bad thing.
The custom dates back centuries, when, in Central and Eastern Europe Jews were afraid to leave their homes to study Torah at the synagogue on Christmas eve, fearing that they would be attacked in the streets. Instead, they would stay home and play cards or chess with their families.
Today, the tradition of playing poker on Christmas Eve has evolved, since most of us aren’t fearful of being attacked. Instead, rabbis explain that it’s better that Jews be engaged in games, even gambling, if it means they aren’t involved in celebrating Christmas.
So, this Christmas eve, may Lady Luck be on your side, rather than Father Christmas.