How Does 106 Sound?


Think that’s old? My ex-neighbor, Yaakov wasn’t impressed.

Yaakov and I used to meet between the raw concrete columns and beams on our respective apartment inspection visits on weekends. By the third visit we were greeting each other and by time the building was complete we knew each other quite well. One day he asked me what year I had been born, the polite way of checking to see who was older. When I said 1933 he smiled and said I was still a youngster. He said he was of the 1925 vintage.


Ten years passed and one day we bumped in the elevator. He had grown a beard, in this country a sign of an impending festival of mourning or a sign of personal mourning.

So I asked, “Why the beard?”

“My mother passed away,” he replied and I offered him my condolences.

“But Yaakov…” I stammered.

“Yes, she was quite old,” he said, anticipating my question.

“How old?” I asked in amazement.

“Oh, 106, maybe 108,” he laughed. “No one really knows and it wasn’t really important!”



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