Afghanistan is believed to have lost its last Jew after Zebulon Simantov fled the country out of fear of persecution by the Taliban and the local ISIS affiliate.
The 62-year-old has served as the keeper of the lone remaining synagogue in the country’s capital, Kabul, but left the Central Asian country last week with other fleeing exiles following the American and NATO retreat.
Two American Jewish philanthropists were reportedly involved in his extraction from the war-torn country following the fall of Kabul to the Islamist Taliban and the recent terrorist attack by ISIS-K, the local affiliate of the terror group, on refugees seeking passage from Kabul airport.
Mr Simantov was reportedly reluctant to leave Afghanistan both because he wished to stay and keep the synagogue, and also because it would likely mean granting a divorce to his wife, who lives in Israel (where authorities can pressure recalcitrant spouses to grant religious divorces when appropriate).
The danger from Islamist antisemitism in his native Afghanistan was, however, apparently severe enough to overcome his reluctance, which saw him decline earlier invitations to leave.
Mr Simantov’s flight represents the latest exile of a Jewish community from an entire country due to antisemitism, a trend with a history spanning millennia.