Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Taliban put bickering Jews in prison

Zebulon Simentov is the last Jew of Afghanistan. There used to be two, but they bickered constantly - so much so that the Taliban imprisoned them, then kicked him out for being too annoying. Laura Adkins reports for JTA:

As the old saying goes, two Jews, three opinions. Add one headache for the Taliban.

Emran Feroz profiled Simentov for Foreign Policy and uncovered some incredible stories about the feisty Afghan — including that the Taliban once imprisoned him for arguing with a fellow Jew, then kicked him out because the constant bickering became too annoying. 

 There is a good amount of information available already on Simentov, given his newsworthy title as Afghanistan’s last remaining Jew. He always wears a kippah and observes the Jewish Sabbath, though he will watch television if a non-Jew has turned it on for him. He lives in Afghanistan’s last standing synagogue — which he renovated himself — in the heart of Kabul’s flower district. Every Shabbat, he reads Torah from the bimah of the old sanctuary. He hates the Taliban, and is on a quest to reclaim a Torah stolen by its interior ministry. 

He allegedly charges a pretty penny (or euro) for interviews.

 But Feroz’s article, framed around the imminent return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, adds much to the story. “Everyone in these streets knows [him],” one neighbor told Feroz. “He is very salient and, sometimes, he is very choleric. But we have fun with him.” 

Read article in full

Simentov: charges a pretty penny for interviews

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