“Until the pandemic, he would go to the synagogue, even at the age of 116,” said his grandson.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Israel’s oldest citizen, Shlomo Sulayman, passed away Sunday at the age of 117 after spending the past several months confined to his home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ynet reported.
“It did him harm,” said Sulayman’s grandson, Gil Radia.
“Until the pandemic, he would go to the synagogue, even at the age of 116. He was a very modest man, which is why everyone loved him. But I guess the isolation at home contributed to his health deteriorating,” Radia said.
Radia said that his grandfather maintained his health by always being physically active and not eating too much.
“He would eat small portions,” he said. “In the morning a piece of bread with cream cheese; for lunch either chicken, fish, or and egg with rice; and in the evening a salad with an egg.”
As a young man, Sulayman worked in agriculture. His grandson said that he continued physical activity when he was older, walking great distances on foot.
“He would walk from Moshav Avihayil back to his home in Netanya, carrying a big sack of oranges on his back,” Radia said.
Sulayman also kept an active mind, attending synagogue daily and studying Jewish scripture.
“His mind was clear until his last moment,” Radia said. “People would come and ask him questions about the faith and do exactly as he told them after he looked over the texts.”
According to his family, Sulayman was born in 1903 in Yemen, making him one of the oldest people in the world.
In 1949, Sulayman and his family immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces.
His wife died several years ago at the age of 94, after which Sulayman lived by himself.
He died with his family by his side and is survived by his six children and dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
“Grandpa loved life, and when someone argued with him, he would always try to convince them with niceties and good manners. We tried to wrap him in our love until his last days,” Radia said.