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The Grumpy Lone Jew of Afghanistan

I have to admit one of my greatest joys in reading the news comes when I get the chance to find out what Afghanistan's last Jew is up to. One can't help but conjure images of The Odd Couple reading … Read More

By / July 11, 2007

I have to admit one of my greatest joys in reading the news comes when I get the chance to find out what Afghanistan's last Jew is up to. One can't help but conjure images of The Odd Couple reading about the disputes between Zebulon Simentov and Yitzhak Levin before Levin died in 2005:

Among other antics, they held separate services, had vicious shouting matches neighbors say could be heard down the street, and denounced each other to the Taliban as spies for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

Talk about narcissism of small differences. Somebody really should make a film. Cast: Sasha Baron Cohen as Simentov and Chevy Chase as Levin. Don't ask why Chevy Chase comes to mind–something in my gut links Spies Like Us to Borat to squabbling Afghan Jewish men.

These days, the news from Kabul isn't especially exciting, but the old fella's in quite a mood:

"He drinks a lot and is very impatient," the boy laughed. "But if you had brought a bottle of whiskey he would have been in heaven."

While his wife and two children enjoy a far more hospitable existence in Israel, Simentov waits around and tends to the synagogue that sparked the feud with Levin. He huffs about a possible property dispute with Levin's son and something about not needing to go to Israel because he doesn't speak Hebrew. What does he think of Karzai? You guessed it: he preferred the commies and the Taliban.

I'm serious about that film. Somebody get Ari Sandel on the horn…

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