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.
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.”
Simentov: charges a pretty penny for interviews