Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World's Oldest Man Lives in Israel

He has trouble seeing, but as one who has repeated the prayers for more than a century, he knows them by heart. David Pur, age 115, continues to learn Torah and to pray every day, now in the nursing home to where he moved just three months ago.

Pur will soon be visited by an envoy of the Guinness Book of World Records – an event much anticipated by the rest of his family. Three of his nine children are still alive, as are 18 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren, all of whom are waiting with excitement for the envoy to formalize his title.

“I have had plenty of time to memorize the Biblical writings,” he said. He prays every morning while standing next to Moshe, who has just turned 100, and who Pur says sometimes seems lost – but is guided by his older friend.

Born in 1895 in what was then Persia and today is Iran, Pur became an adviser to the Shah, who admired his mastery of languages, including Persian, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic and French. He later added Tagalog, a language spoke in the Philippines, while learning to care for Filipinos. He and his family made aliyah to Israel in 1948.

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