Zebulon Simentov, who is known as the last Jew of Kabul, divorced his wife over a Zoom call so that he can be allowed to enter his Holy Land, reports Dawn.
Under Jewish religious law, a husband must agree to grant his wife divorce, which Simentov had refused to do for many years. But last month, he finally agreed to avoid any legal procedures from his wife, who lives in Israel.
Simentov fled Afghanistan last month after the Taliban takeover and landed in Turkey on Sunday on what his rescuers say is a final stop before travelling to Israel.
Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, whose non-profit group Tzedek Association funded Simentov’s journey, said he had spent the last few weeks living quietly in Pakistan.
“We are relieved we were successful in helping Zebulon Simentov escape from Afghanistan and now into safety in Turkey. His life was in danger in Afghanistan,” said Margaretten.
He said his group had looked into bringing Simentov to the United States (US) but decided that Israel was a better destination as he has many relatives, including five siblings and two daughters, already in Israel.
Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in the Islamic States, greeted Simentov at the airport in Istanbul upon his arrival.
He said he had an appointment to take Simentov to the Israeli consulate to arrange his entry to Israel. Under Israel’s “Law of Return”, any Jew is entitled to Israeli citizenship.
Simentov was born in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1959 and used to run a kebab shop.