Israel Kristal, the Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest man at his home in Haifa, Israel passed away just a month short of his 114th birthday. He achieved this record in March 2016.
Oren Kristal, his grandson, said he died on Friday. “He managed to accomplish a lot. Every year he lived was like a few years for somebody else.”
Kristal was born in poland to an Orthodox Jeiwsh Family in 1903.
“When he was a child during World War I I in Poland he was a helper for a booze smuggler; he used to run barefoot in the snow through the night many kilometres with a heavy package on his back at about 12-years-old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war”
“He used to walk very fast until he was very old – faster than me – and he used to tell me that when he was my age if you didn’t walk fast enough your feet would stick to the frozen ground,” said Oren.
According to reports, Kristal was a very hard-working man, he had lots of energy always running from one place to another doing something. Oren, his grandson, said that he participated in one of his grandsons’ bar mitzvahs just a few weeks ago.
Kristal left behind two children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Although Kristal lived till 113, Oren said his grandfather never gave any explanations to the secret for his long life.
Krsital has had a tough life, he was orphaned shortly after World War 1 and moved to Lodz to work in family confectionery business in 1920.
He was also sent to ghetto and later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
"He used to tell us whenever we were mourning someone that we should consider that they are being buried in the land of Israel, most of the people he knew did not get to be buried in a grave when they died," Oren said
His daughter Shula Koperstoch said he had died on Friday afternoon after becoming ill on Thursday.
“Despite all that he went through, and he lost the whole family in the Holocaust, he had a lot of optimism, and he always saw only light and good in everything." said Shula. [in Hebrew]
May Israel’s soul RIP.
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