Jew born in Pakistan first in decades to be allowed to declare his faith

For the first time in decades, Pakistan has allowed one of its 185 million citizens to register officially as a Jew. For Fischel Benkhald, achieving this milestone has taken years and required the efforts of people in two countries.

  • ontario john

    That’s Islamophobic.

  • Dana Garcia

    Why would anyone want to declare their religion to the government? Particularly when the government is Pakistan’s.

    • Maybe his boldness is part of a bigger plan?

      Suicidal, I think.

    • My thoughts too.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      I think he would like to leave for Israel and this is his way of establishing his credentials to minimize any hassles from the official rabbinate.

      • deplorabledave

        I hope your right and he makes it.

  • David Murrell

    Mighty open-minded of the Pakistani government.

  • disqusW6sf

    How long will it take before he has to leave.

  • Watchman

    My clock is ticking on the time he will be accused of blasphemy against islam, for which there is no defence and for which the penalty is death.


    Didn’t the Germans do that prior to WWII? How did that work out for the Jews? I would imagine it will work out about the same in Pakistan.

  • Cat-astrophe

    Brave or stupid.
    Either way I feel like I am looking at a dead man.

    • jayme

      I suspect you’re right. Speaking of the photo, it is so unlike a photo of a typical Pakistani Muslim – or any Muslim for that matter. His smile looks simple and genuine; he looks authentic, human. Islam sucks the life out of people (literally and figuratively, I guess).

    • deplorabledave

      I’m certain you are.

  • Waffle

    Uh, kiddies — something not quite kosher here:

    “. . . cooking the unleavened bread known as challah every Friday . . .” (from the article)

    For those not in the know, unleavened bread is called matzah and it’s baked only once a year (on Passover).

    Lots of things just don’t sit right with this story. You have to admit that it’s rather fascinating that an oriental with Jewish roots, albeit them tenuous at best, would be such a Europhile and choose an imagined Ashkenazic translation of his birth name. Faisal = Fischel? I don’t know about that one. I would have suggested Farfel, but then again, my little Farfel is Hitler, so I’m not really qualified in the naming department.

    As for his mother being Jewish, it is quite possible as Jewish and other minority girls in that part of the world are often kidnapped and married off to Muslim men or used as sex slaves. She might have been quite young when taken and so remembered only bits and pieces of what it meant to be Jewish.

  • DMB

    This is why Pakistan is allowing this!