Beyond Coincidence – The Story of Israel Kristal

Israel Kristal

By Gideon

If you are looking for a miracle to explain the unexplainable, a proof that the world is not a random place; that there is a guiding force that watches over us. If you are looking for a confirmation that there is a special connection between the Jewish People, Israel, and the almighty, you may find it in this story.

An Israeli citizen, who lives in Haifa, holds the title of the “Oldest Man in the World.” His name is Israel Kristal. He turned 112.5 years old on March 15, 2016. He was awarded the title by the Guinness World Records organization this week.

What makes this record so special is that Israel Kristal is a Holocaust survivor. He was born in the village of Zarnow, Poland, on September 15, 1903. At 3 he started to study in a local heder and began to speak Hebrew. At 4 he learned Bible and at 6, Mishna. In 1920, when he was 17, he moved to Lodz, where he started a family and established a candy factory. In 1940 he and his wife Chaja Feige and their two children were sent to the ghetto and in August 1944 he was deported to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he spent two months before being sent to other camps. His wife and his children did not survive the Holocaust. After the war he remained in Lodz for several years, re-established the candy factory and started a new family with his second wife, Batsheva. In 1950 they immigrated to Israel and settled in Haifa, where he continued to manufacture candies, chocolate bottles filled with liqueur and wrapped in colorful foil, carob jelly, and candied orange peels.

In a world of over seven billion people, the chances that a person who was sent with his family to the terrible Nazi death camp Auschwitz, will survive and will live to be the oldest living person in the world are so slim that it can only be viewed as a miracle. The fact that he outlived his captors, torturers, and the murderers of his wife and children is a proof that there’s hope even in the darkest places when it seems that all is lost. The fact that the longest living person in the world lives in Israel, a country which surrounded by enemies and is fighting for its survival since its creation in 1948, is a miracle by itself ,and says a lot about Israel’s longevity and the covenant between the Almighty and the Jewish people.