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The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future

No Matter How Old

In the early years of the State of Israel, the entire Jewish community of Yemen was airlifted there. Many of the arriving immigrants claimed tremendous old ages; some of them said they were a hundred and forty, a hundred and fifty, even a hundred and sixty years old. It seemed hard to believe, and it was impossible to substantiate their claims, for they had brought no accurate birth records with them.

One day, a newly resettled Yemenite Jew appeared in the Tel Aviv office of an insurance broker saying he wanted to buy a life insurance policy. The broker looked at the man, saw he was no youngster, and asked him: "How old are you?"

"Seventy-two."

"Seventy-two? That's too old. We can't sell you a life insurance policy."

"That's not fair," the man answered. "Last week you sold my father a policy."

"Your father? How old is he?"

"Ninety-Five."

"Impossible."

"Go check your records."

The agent checked his records and found to his amazement that the preceding week the man's ninety-five-year-old father had applied for a policy, that a physician had found him to be in perfect health, and that he had been issued a policy. The agent came back.

"You're right. We sold your father a policy, we'll sell you one. But you have to come in on Tuesday for a medical checkup."

"I can't come in on Tuesday."

"Why not?"

"My grandfather is getting married."

"Your grandfather is getting married? How old is he?"

"A hundred and seventeen."

"A hundred and seventeen? Why is he getting married?"

"His parents keep pestering him."