Aug 19, 2021

The Afghani get refuser

There has been plenty written about the "last Jew in Afghanistan" - Zebulun Simantov. 11 years ago Simantov was talking about how he had been arrested and beaten multiple times by the Taliban. 

Back then he though the Taliban were done with so it would be ok to stay in Kabul. Little did he know that in 2021 the Taliban would take over once again, with the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Just a few months ago Simantov was talking about immigrating to Israel. He especially stressed that if the Taliban would take over he would need to leave and got o Israel.

A group of influential Jews from around the world worked to get Simantov out to Israel. They used all their connections, as high up as the US government, to coordinate with the Taliban to let him out on a corporate plane that was sent to extricate employees of Moti Kahane (one of the leading members of this group).

It turns out that there is a different problem and because of SImantov refused to leave. Zevulun Simantov is a "sarvan get" - a get refuser. His wife wants a divorce and he refuses to give her the get. If he goes to Israel, continuing to refuse the get, he will be arrested upon arrival. 

1. It is astounding that he would prefer to stay in Afghanistan with the Taliban, people who have already arrested and beaten him multiple times, rather than give his wife a get.

2. He reminds me of the story of Rabbi Akiva Eiger who called ina  get refuser and warned him. When the fellow continued to refuse, Rabbi Eiger supposedly warned him that there are two ways for a man to free his wife - either by divorce or by death. Upon leaving Rabbi Eiger's home, the story goes, the fellow collapsed and died. This guy can continue to refuse, but perhaps living under the Taliban will actually bring about her freedom, should they kill him. Maybe that can even be coordinated.

3. I dont know if abusers, and in my eyes a get refuser is an abusive person, prefer abusive regimes, but maybe he'll get exactly what he deserves, living in a place that befits him.

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  1. Afgani is the unit of currency. The adjective is just Afgan

  2. It's sad that in the days of international travel and marriages and divorce, the Rabbinate hasn't sorted out the laws of divorce.


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