World's Oldest Boy to Finally Become a Man

Illustration for article titled World's Oldest Boy to Finally Become a Man

The world’s oldest boy—and a Holocaust survivor—will finally become a man next month when he gets the bar mitzvah he’s been waiting to have for literally 100 years.

Yisrael Kristal, who is 113 and certified as the world’s oldest man, is Jewish, but missed his bar mitzvah, scheduled for 1916, after his mother died and his father was drafted to fight in World War I, where he was later killed in action.

Kristal was raised by an uncle and later moved to Poland, where he was captured by the Nazis.


During World War II, Kristal and his wife were placed in Auschwitz, where the BBC reports his wife was murdered. The couple’s two children were also killed during the Holocaust.

“I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why,” Kristal said in March when he became the oldest living man in the world. “There have been smarter, stronger and better-looking men … 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.”

Kristal eventually moved to Israel, where he currently lives with his second wife, two children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and cousins, all of whom are coming to see the event, his daughter tells reporters. The bar mitzvah is scheduled for two weeks to coincide with his birthday on the Hebrew calendar.

“We will bless him, we will dance with him, we will be happy,” his daughter said.


I’m not crying—you’re crying.

Former Gawker news editor

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Celia the Vampire Slaying Vampire

Mazel Tov!!! So many tears. My WWII Veteran, Holocaust Camp-Liberating Jewish Grandpa just died last week. He was the best, most wonderful mensch of a human I could ever be honored to know. He had his Bar Mitzvah as a 13-year-old, but was a lifelong learner and student of all things including Judaism so he had an adult Bar Mitzvah as well. I was so proud of him then and I cannot imagine how proud his family is of Mr. Kristal.

Beautiful. ETA: And his quote sounds very much like something my Grandpa would say and my family would say. Wish I could share this article with him. He was always happy to be like, “One of my grandchildren moderates a feminist website!”