The commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” the Krishevsky family follows quite closely. Last Saturday, the great grandmother, Rachel Krishevsky passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind no less than 1,400 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.
Krishevsky got married to her cousin, Yitzhak, just before turning 19. The couple brought seven sons and four daughters into the world. In accordance with haredi custom, Krishevsky brought up her children to see children as a great joy. Her children subsequently adopted her outlook and produced 150 children of their own.
These 150 children continued the commitment to be fruitful and multiply and themselves had no less than 1,000 children. From here, the lineage continued even further, and Rachel Krishevsky was blessed with a few hundred great-great-grandchildren.
Rachel Krishevsky died on Saturday surrounded by loving descendents.
Due to their great numbers, the family is not quite clear on precisely how many descendents there are. “The estimate in the family is that we are about 1,400 people since almost all of those from the family line were blessed with many children,” said one of the grandchildren Wednesday.
Though she lived a full and long life, the family is saddened by Rachel’s passing. Krishevsky lived nearly her whole live next to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda open-air market.
“Grandma was a God-fearing woman her whole life, and her door was always open to the homeless and poor near the market who were looking for a place to eat,” added the grandchild.
“She knew the entire book of Psalms by heart, and participated in all the family events, happy and sad, up until two years ago. She knew all of her descendents. We are sad about her death, but proud of what she achieved in her life and her righteousness and compassion.”
Though Krishevsky certainly produced many offspring, she did was not a record-breaker. In the haredi sector, there are two well-known cases of living people having great-great-great-grandchildren. One such case is in a Hassidic family living in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.
Another such family is that of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leader of the Lithuanian branch of haredi Judaism. A few months ago, his great-great-grandson had his first child.