HistoryJournal.org

Last Jew in Afghanistan

Posted in Asian, Judaism by Alex L. on April 7, 2009

Yesterday, there was an interesting video op-ed on nytimes.com titled, “Last Jew in Afghanistan”. The man interviewed, Zablon Simantov, is perhaps the last member of a 13-century-old community. While watching the documentary, I wondered about the man who sent his family away to Israel while continuing to live alone in his homeland. Was it stubborn pride that stayed his flight? He criticized the other Jews who lacked his courage to stay in Afghanistan. Yet, living behind the abandoned synagogue and caring for the flowers that grow in its courtyard, he seems like a humble man. Zablon appears sincere yet still enigmatic. He harshly criticizes the Taliban and admits that Afghanistan is still in shoddy shape even after their downfall. So what keeps this man there, alone? Maybe Zablon simply loves, like Rhett Butler in the movie Gone With the Wind and any man who has a heart for something on earth, “lost causes once they’re really lost”.

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