'World's oldest man symbolizes the Jewish nation's eternity'

PM Netanyahu expresses sorrow at passing of oldest man in the world, says he symbolized Jewish eternity.

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Matanel Frankel,

Yisrael Kristal
Yisrael Kristal
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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night spoke about the death of Yisrael Kristal, 113, who had been the oldest man in the world.

Kristal was recognized as the oldest man in the world by the Guinness World Records. He died on Friday.

"This fact alone is amazing, but it becomes even more amazing when you think about the fact that he survived the Holocaust," Netanyahu said.

"Yisrael symbolizes Israel's eternity. Last year, we happily congratulated Yisrael on his 113th birthday. His loving family celebrated his bar mitzvah, one hundred years after the First World War prevented it from taking place.

"I share in the Kristal family's mourning. May Yisrael's memory be blessed."

Kristal, who lived in Haifa, passed away just short of his 114 birthday, which would have occurred on September 15. He was born in on September 15, 1903, in the Polish village of Zarnow. In 1920, at the age of 17, he moved to Lodz, where he later started a family and opened a candy factory.

In 1940, he, his wife Chaya Feiga, and their two children were deported to Auschwitz, where his wife and children perished.

Kristal immigrated to Israel in 1950 with his second wife, and settled in Haifa, where he continued to manufacture candy.

"We are sure he passed away contentedly, knowing that he will be buried in Israel," the Kristal family said. "Most of the people he knew were not properly buried, and definitely not in Israel."

Kristal's funeral will take place on Saturday night in Haifa.