Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I work for a company that provides a service that is considered morally objectionable by some Rabbis (see Gambling at casino). The work I do is generic, in that the output could potentially be used to undertake other kinds of business; however, the company chooses to implement gambling products.

If we assume that all gambling is forbidden (see Gambling at casino again), am I violating Halachah by being an employee of a company that profits from gambling? If the company is "stealing", am I indirectly stealing by accepting my salary from them?

I can think of a couple of things which may help me to justify my employment in terms of Halachah:

  • My salary is fixed - I get paid the same no matter how well or poorly the company does.
  • I don't receive a bonus if we sell a lot of tickets.
  • I don't own shares in the company.
  • I'm not the one doing the selling. Technically, my employer buys my time/skill and decides what to sell with it.
  • People will gamble whether I work there or not.


My situation is just an example. I can think of a few other situations which I believe are similar, such as a carpenter who builds a house that is used as a brothel.

share|improve this question
2  
Very, very related (dupe?): judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14303/5 –  Seth J Mar 22 '13 at 13:26

1 Answer 1

If you have a chance, listen to this fantastic lecture (mp3) by Rabbi Michael Broyde.

He discusses, for instance, a lawyer who does very boring, standard real-estate contracts, but his employer is a "men's entertainment company."

Inherently it's basically permissible; in most circumstances, it's questionable to what degree you're really facilitating their sin (as they could easily fire you and find someone else). Though it can be distasteful; Rabbi Broyde recalls his own experiences in private practice where he chose to avoid work like this, admitting it would limit his career.

There are also issues of "disgracing the Name of G-d", i.e. "if this were publicized how would people perceive this?" Rabbi Broyde says you don't want to have a picture published on some real estate trade journal of a very religious-looking fellow standing next to a well-known "men's entertainment" mogul. Similarly he said there were times when Rabbi Isaac Hutner actually advised students of his who were employed by distasteful companies to not wear their kippas at work. (Once again I can't stress enough -- consult your own real-live rabbi, please!)

share|improve this answer
1  
Does Rabbi Broyde deal with the issue of Marit Ayin at all? That would be a possible halakhic issue as well depending on what one did in the Casino. –  Rabbi Michael Tzadok Mar 22 '13 at 13:14
    
@mekubal, excellent question; Rabbi Broyde was dealing with back-office employment questions, which appears to fit with the question asked here. If instead you play a very visible role that would imply you're involved in the sinful activity, that could certainly be different. –  Shalom Mar 22 '13 at 16:37

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.