World's oldest man brings in the New Year with his Bar Mitzvah

Kristal had his birthday in September. He was recognized as the world’s oldest man in March.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, JTA
October 3, 2016 23:35
1 minute read.
Yisrael Kristal

Yisrael Kristal . (photo credit: COURTESY OF FAMILY)

Yisrael Kristal, a Holocaust survivor living in Israel and the world’s oldest man at 113-year-old, celebrated this past weekend his bar mitzva, according to CNN.

Kristal's daughter, Shulimath Kristal Kuperstoch organized the ceremony for her father. The family celebrated in Haifa.

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"This was a miracle that came true in front of our eyes," Shulimath said of the celebration.

The party was attended by friends and family on Friday, Saturday morning Kristal had his bar mitzva.

After the bar mitzva candy was thrown at Kristal by those in attendance. A tradition at younger Bar Mitzva's symbolizing a sweet life. Shulimath stated that her father loved the tradition.

Kristal had his birthday in September. He was recognized as the world’s oldest man in March.

He missed his bar mitzva due to World War I. His father was in the Russian army and his mother had died three years earlier, Kuperstoch said.

Born on Sept. 15, 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Poland, Kristal moved to Lodz in 1920 to work in his family’s candy business. He continued operating the business after the Nazis forced the city’s Jews into a ghetto, where Kristal’s two children died. In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife, whom he had married at 25, was killed.

In 1950, he moved to Haifa with his second wife and their son, working again as a confectioner. In addition to his son and daughter, Kristal has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

When asked at the time he was certified as the oldest living man what his secret was to long life, Kristal said: “I don’t know the secret for long life. I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. There have been smarter, stronger and better-looking men than me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.”


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