Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Next door neighbor was second-to-last Jew in nation before death from old age

Zabulon Simintov, a restaurateur in his fifties who resides in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul has a unique distinction. He is the final Jew known to reside in the entire nation of Afghanistan. Simintov's next door neighbor was the second-to-last Jew known to live in Afghanistan, but he passed away from old age some time ago.

Zabulon Simintov is careful to remove his skullcap before entering his cafe in a dilapidated building that also houses Afghanistan's last synagogue.

Zabulon Simintov is careful to remove his skullcap before entering his cafe in a dilapidated building that also houses Afghanistan's last synagogue.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Jew, Afghanistan, restaurant, last Jew, Israel

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The history of Jews in Afghanistan is an obscure one. Some historians believe Jews may have lived there more than 2,000 years ago. Eleventh century scrolls discovered in the north of the nation has provided the first opportunity to study poems, commercial records and judicial agreements of the time.

The community was several thousand strong at the turn of the 20th century and had spread across several cities. The community here had limited contact with other Jews living abroad. The Jewish community here left the country en masse for the newly created state of Israel.  

AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. DONATE NOW ...

Simintov is careful to remove his skullcap before entering his cafe in a dilapidated building that also houses Afghanistan's last synagogue. Simintov has become something of a celebrity over the years. His rivalry with the next-to-last Jew inspired a play.

Deeply aware of Afghanistan's extremely conservative Muslim culture, Simintov tries not to advertise his identity to protect the Balkh Bastan or Ancient Balkh kebab cafe he opened four years ago, naming it after a northern Afghan province. "All food here is prepared by Muslims," he said.

His cafe now faces closure because kebabs are not selling well, due to deteriorating security in the city that has made visitors here scarce.

He says that he used to rely on hotel catering orders but even these have dried up as foreign troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan. "Hotels used to order food for 400 to 500 people. Four or five stoves were busy from afternoon to evening," he said. "I plan to close my restaurant next March and rent its space."

Simintov says his wife and daughters left for Israel, but he decided to stay behind with his Afghan "brothers."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Asia Pacific

Clone livestock, racehorses, the family pet - China opens world's FIRST 'CLONING' FACTORY Watch

Image of The factory will include a 15,000 square meter laboratory, an animal center, a gene bank, and an exhibition hall. The facility is expected to open as soon as within the first six months of 2016.


China, leading the world in cloning technology, is set to open a multi-million dollar facility in order to clone racehorses, livestock, even the family pet. Officials hope that this brings the still-dodgy practice of cloning closer to mainstream respectability. ... continue reading

777 Capt: 'MH370 will be found within the next four to eight weeks' Watch

Image of Ocean Shield, one of the key recovery vessels leading the search for MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.


A British pilot has predicted that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 will be found within the next four to eight weeks, based on his careful recreation of the plane's disappearance. The team searching for the plane is expected to move into the area where a mathematical ... continue reading

CONFIRMED: Bones found in Russian mineshaft are of Tsar Nicholas II Watch

Image of DNA testing has conclusively confirmed that human bones found in a Russian mineshaft belonged to onetime Russian leader Nicholas II.


Some of the mystery surrounding Russia's final tsar, has finally been laid to rest. DNA testing has conclusively confirmed that human bones found in a Russian mineshaft belonged to the onetime leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In addition, new samples ... continue reading

Koala baby Imogen - and Internet sensation celebrates her first birthday Watch

Image of Baby Imogen will be celebrating her first birthday with lots of eucalyptus leaves.


Adorable koala baby Imogen is celebrating her first birthday. An Internet sensation, the adorable Koala bear has captivated the world with her struggles to survive after her mother was used as a surrogate for another orphaned koala bear. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

You've never had Cotton Candy like this before! (Amazing Photo Gallery) Watch

Image of These new concoctions are created through highly detailed, precise work on the part of the confectioner.


Resembling psychedelic works of art, people are uploading pictures of the wacky creations of Chinese candy makers as they kick up the art of cotton candy to a whole new level. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chinese candy artisans are creating huge, elaborately ... continue reading

You won't believe dying man's final wish - he marries a SEX DOLL Watch

Image of Photos show the unnamed holding his plastic bride, dancing with her in a ballroom and taking a few candid shots of them in front of a make-up mirror.


Whether it's actually true or not is still a matter of debate, but it has the internet community in China buzzing. A 28-year-old man in Beijing, supposedly dying of terminal cancer, has married a sex doll! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A series of bizarre ... continue reading

Everything you need to know about the controversial Trans-Pacific trade deal Watch

Image of The agreement discourages imports of goods produced by forced labor, requiring members to adopt laws on acceptable working conditions.


It remains to be ratified - but if approved, the Pacific trade deal will free up commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy, particularly in Southeast Asia. Details about the agreement have been released. The agreement is intended to counter China's rising and ... continue reading

The shocking way YOU'RE supporting Christian persecution in Pakistan Watch

Image of Pakistani Muslims burn an image of Our Lady during one of their riots against Christians.


Christians are being slaughtered in Pakistan and the U.S. government continues to prop up the nation, which turns a blind eye to the violence. Because the foreign aid sent to Pakistan comes from taxpayers, you are essentially financing Christian persecution in the ... continue reading

China ends controversial 'one-child policy' after 35 years of extreme population control Watch

Image of


China has made the decision to abandon their "one-child policy." With the controversial law lifted, Chinese couples will now be allowed to have two children. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Communist Party leadership met to discuss the growing concerns over ... continue reading

Two prehistoric lion cubs found - fur and all, in Sakha Republic Watch

Image of Two Eurasian lion cubs were found almost perfectly preserved in the permafrost near Siberia.


An adorable furry face beams up to modern man ten thousand years after it went extinct. Two remarkably preserved prehistoric lion cubs were discovered in the Sakha Republic in Russia over the summer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The find is significant as ... continue reading

All Asia Pacific News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer For Courage HD
  • 'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest ...
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November ...
  • French Hostage Situation: Two armed suspects engage in shootout with ...
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  • 5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings
  • Advent Wreath Prayer HD

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 2:31-45
31 'You have had a vision, Your Majesty; this is what you saw: a statue, ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
57 Bless the Lord, all the Lord's creation: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:5-11
5 When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various ... Read More