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Last Jew in Afghanistan refuses to give wife Jewish divorce

CM 18/08/2021


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Afghanistan’s last remaining Jew, Zabulon Simantov, has decided to remain in Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s takeover due to his refusal to give his estranged wife a get, a Jewish divorce document, according to Makor Rishon.
In a WION interview, Simantov stated his reason for staying is to maintain his synagogue.
“I will not leave my home. If I had left, there would have been no one to maintain the synagogue,” he said. 

Simantov, 61, had previously stated he was planning to leave during the High Holy Day season: “I will watch on TV in Israel to find out what will happen in Afghanistan.”
His wife and their two daughters have lived in Israel since 1998, but Simantov has stayed in Afghanistan to tend to the lone synagogue, located in Kabul. 
Attempts have been made to assist his Israeli wife for years, though he is yet to agree to give her a divorce, according to Makor Rishon.
As halacha (Jewish law) requires the husband to voluntarily grant his wife a divorce, many women are rendered “agunot” – literally “chained women” – as they are “chained” to their marriages if they aren’t given a get.
Business Moti Kahana offered to fund a private airplane to take Simantov to Israel, an offer the Afghan Jew initially accepted. Security guards filmed Simantov reading the “Tefilat Haderech” prayer, the prayer read before traveling.
However, Simantov changed his mind at the last second, Makor Rishon said.
In a 2007 interview, Simantov said that he doesn’t speak Hebrew, and didn’t have plans to move to Israel. 
“Go to Israel? What business do I have there?” 
Simantov prays daily and keeps kashrut laws, slaughtering the animals he eats himself. He was given permission to do so by the rabbi of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 
Yitzhak Levi, the penultimate Jew in Afghanistan, died in 2005. The two famously did not get along. 
“I don’t talk to him, he’s the devil,” Simantov told The New York Times in 2002. “A dog is better than him.” 
According to a report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Taliban took the synagogue’s Torah, scribed in the 15th century, and sold it on the black market.  
Simantov believes the Torah will resurface one day. 

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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