Zabulon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan
Zabulon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan Reuters

As the Taliban takes over the country, the fate of Afghanistan's last remaining Jew is unknown.

Zabulon Simantov, 62, was living in the capital of Kabul and serving of the caretaker of the city's synagogue before Kabul fell to Taliban forces yesterday.

Simantov had announced in March of this year that he would leave the country for good following the Jewish High Holidays in September, citing fears of a possible Taliban takeover following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“If the Taliban return, they are going to push us out with a slap in the face,” he told Radio Free Europe.

Yesterday, Simantov's fears came true, as Taliban forces marched into the capital and seized control from President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country. The takeover comes three weeks before the start of the High Holidays and nearly two months before Simantov said he would the country himself.

He was to move to Israel to be with his wife and two daughters, who have lived in Israel themselves since 1998.

Simantov's current whereabouts are unknown, with concern for his fate being expressed on social media.

"Is anyone else sitting on their couch crying because they're scared for Zabulon Simantov?" asked one Twitter user, with others saying that they are praying for his safety.

With his departure, the synagogue will close and 2,000 years of Jewish history in Afghanistan will come to an end. An estimated 40,000 Jews lived in Afghanistan at the start of the 20th Century.

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