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Last Jew to leave Afghanistan divorces wife after refusing for over 20 years

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Zebulon Simantov, Afghanistan’s last Jew, who fled the Taliban’s rule earlier this month, finally granted his wife a divorce this week, after refusing for more than 20 years.

Simantov, 62, had refused to leave the country and travel to Israel in the past, reportedly in order to avoid dealing with his divorce and with rabbinic authorities, who sanction those who do not grant a divorce.

Reports about Simantov in the past have noted that his wife moved to Israel with the couple’s daughters in 1998, and he has refused to divorce her since.

Under Jewish law, a “get,” or rabbinic bill of divorce, is required for women to be able to remarry. Women whose husbands refuse to give a get are known as “agunot,” or chained women, and their plight is seen as a major point of gender inequality in Orthodox Judaism.

The get was granted remotely by the Sydney Beth Din, headed by Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, the Makor Rishon weekly reported on Sunday.

A screenshot from a Zoom conversation showed Istanbul-based Rabbi Mendy Chitrik and businessman Moti Kahana, the latter of whom assisted in getting Simantov out of........

© The Times of Israel

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