Celebrating Life Till 120!
“Moshe was 120 years old when he died, with eyes undimmed and vigor undiminished.” (Deuteronomy 34:7)
Yisrael Kristal was born on September 15, 1903 in what we now call Poland. Liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945 having survived the Warsaw ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp sadly his two children died in the ghetto and his wife in Auschwitz. After World War II, he traveled to Israel settling in the northern Israeli city of Haifa and eventually remarried.
In November 2015 and January 2016 Yisrael Kristal at the age of 112 was been cited as the oldest living male Holocaust Survivor, however, there was one problem–he had to produce documents to prove his age. It was not until March 11, 2016 after Guinness received acceptable documentation that they confirmed Yisrael Kristal as the oldest living male Holocaust Survivor.
On March 31, 2016, Janice Arnold, a staff writer for the Canadian Jewish News, wrote an article on the remarkable story of how Yisrael’s documents needed by Guinness were found. It was through JRI the largest, fully searchable database of indexes to Jewish vital records, they were key in locating his needed documents.
Stanley Diamond, executive director of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI) helped discover the needed documents. Diamond first located Yisrael’s residency card in Lodz with the help of the director of the Lodz archives and JRI’s database manager. The documents they found revealed that back then Yisrael went by Izrael Icek and showed his birth year as 1903.
Next Diamond discovered Yisrael marriage banns (proclamation) published in the town of Malagoszcz in 1928 including a rabbinical certification stating the groom was 25 years old. Surely, by divine guidance Diamond discovered “birth protocols”, a type of sworn statement, attached to the banns for both Yisrael and his first bride. This was the documented proof Guinness needed.
“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 then me who are no longer alive.” Yisrael Kristal.
Celebrating a long life! Till 120 Yisrael Kristal!
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