You have $150. You have to pay your gas bill ($125), electricity bill ($80), you owe your friend money ($100) , and you owe your parents money ($150). You lost a bet with your friend and you broke your parents camera equipment and they both want their pavements as quickly as possible. Who do you pay and how much?

Answer:

The money should be split evenly between your friend and parents.

Sources:

See C”M 104:10 that in loans being collected from money or movable items, no preference is given to an earlier creditor. Once, the debt is claimed it is split equally to partially pay both. The bill pay would be deferred to these loans, as the bills pay was not demanded. In addition paying back Jewish creditors takes precedence, see Shulchan Aruch C:M Rama, 348:2.

This answer assumes that your friend may in fact collect on a bet. See Shulchan Aruch C:M 207:13, that in fact most forms of bets and gambling are known as asmachta, meaning that when a person agrees to a conditional penalty, or a bet, he does so under the assumption that he won’t have to pay. He only agrees to the conditional payment because he is convinced that he will “win the bet,” and won’t have to pay. Therefore, because the person never really agrees to pay, he is actually exempt from paying.

The laws of asmachta are complex, and not all bets would fall under the categories of exemption, but if the wager does fall under the category (most would), extracting the money from the loser could be considered theft.

 

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