WEST HARTFORD – How it feels to be responsible for a cause, that if you fail you could be responsible for the end of an era, the death of a tradition, the demise of a heritage ?

Even if you are not Don Quixote, you will surely feel compelled to test your courage and hope to succeed in your mission.

Playhouse on Park in West Hartford invites you to the front row until October 10 for the altercation, for performances of Seth Rozin’s vaudeville-style play, “Two Jews Walk Into A War …”

Come meet Ishaq and Zeblyan, who have the unique distinction of being the last two Jews in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. They are busy burying their third compatriot, Yakob, and there are only two left. The Taliban are busy waging a war around them and have already destroyed their synagogue and stolen their Torah.

The future, if there is one, is firmly in their hands. And, did I forget to mention that the two men hate each other, passionately and loudly?


Mitch Greenberg is the polite and purist professor Ishaq, who pairs wit with more secular and skeptical businessman Bob Ari, as Zeblyan. The two bicker like fishy old women about everything from how to save the Jewish population, both of whom have had the worst experience surviving the Holocaust.

Ironically, their families lived to see another day only to come to Afghaniston for resettlement rather than going to Israel or America. A bad decision, indeed.

The big question is whether they can work together long enough to save the Jewish people by creating a community in Kabul. Think of “The Odd Couple” meeting the borscht belt. They need a plan that they can agree on, if that is possible.

After ruling out many unacceptable solutions, they decide they need a synagogue and a Torah. Reluctantly, Zeblyan becomes a scribe and records every word Ishaq dictates, down to every comma and period. After many false starts and interruptions as Zeblyan questions God, it looks like they can actually achieve their goal.

What happens next is more heartache than shtick.

The playwright crafted this story from a diary account of two Jews in this difficult religious situation, so it is based on reality. The way he injected humor into their situation, based on mutual hostility, is oddly problematic and worthy of discussion, which takes place after Sunday mornings.

For tickets ($ 40 to $ 50), call Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford, at 860-523-5900, ext. 10, or go online at tix.com. The performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

David Hammond conducts this 90-minute show with no intermission. Masks, government issued ID and proof of vaccination are required.

Watch how two men who only agree on their mutual hatred grow in their faith and learn to respect and understand each other.