The World's Oldest Man is About to Have a Belated Bar Mitzvah - Atlas Obscura
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The World’s Oldest Man is About to Have a Belated Bar Mitzvah

World War I prevented the first one.

Yisrael Kristal with his award certificate. (Photo: Guinness World Records)

What’s the secret to a long life? No one knows, though maybe it’s candy. 

That’s because the world’s current oldest man, Yisrael Kristal, 113, was, for decades, a confectioner. He’s survived two world wars and Auschwitz, and has been trying for decades, he says, to “rebuild what is lost.”

“I don’t know the secret for long life, “Kristal said in March, when he was officially named the world’s oldest man. “There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can.”

Next up for Kristal, though, is his bar mitzvah, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, only around 100 years late. 

Kristal missed his first chance because of World War I, after his mother died when he was 10 and his father left home to fight in the Russian army. 

In the coming weeks, though, he’ll finally experience his coming-of-age celebration, surrounded by family in Haifa, Israel.

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