My father-in-law, Yaghoub Shofet, is a Persian Jew who was born and raised in Iran. He is from a rabbinic family. His father, and all his ancestors on his father’s side, were rabbis. His older brother, Chacham Yedidia Shofet, was the Chief Rabbi of Iran during the reign of the shah. Throughout his adult life, my father-in-law was a “loan broker.” He would introduce individuals who needed to borrow money to those who had money to lend, and would make a commission in the process. His clients included Jews and Muslims, both as lenders and as borrowers.
The Shah of Iran symbolized, with his youth and his seemingly limitless future, the power and grandeur that, we believed, would one day be his -- he symbolized for us a life of possibilities, such as we hadn't known for centuries.