Honoring Ron Nachman

With great sadness, I learned today that my dear friend Ron Nachman, the mayor of Ariel, Israel, passed away this morning after courageously fighting cancer since 2009. 

In my heart and mind, Ron will always be the “John Wayne of Israel,” something I told him on more than one occasion.  (I think he liked that – I can still see his beaming smile.)

He was a true pioneer and tireless advocate for his people, especially his beloved city of Ariel. 

Ron was a bridge builder between Christians and Jews, and as a result of his efforts, Israel became more than politics to me. It became all about relationship.

Vicki and I had the wonderful privilege of knowing Ron and his wife, Dorit, as dear friends. 

They stayed in our home when visiting Southern California and we were able to spend many hours sharing our hopes and visions for the Holy Land and her people. We poured through Scripture together and discussed prophecy.

Ron lived the prophecies of the Old Testament that foretold the re-gathering of Israel. 

As a young boy, he witnessed the rebirth of his nation, and he spent his life dedicated to bringing life into his land. One day Dorit told us the story of Ron sharing his dreams for Ariel as he led a group out into the wilderness.

“So, like goats we climbed the hills,” Dorit recalled.  “He was jumping from rock to rock and every few feet he would stop and wait for us to catch up, then exclaim, You see this rock? Here will be a school. See this rock? A clinic!”  

Running from rock to rock, hill to hill, his followers gasping to keep up, Ron showed them his vision and energized their community with his enthusiasm.

“We saw it when it was only a vision,” says Dorit, “but everything happened just the way he said it would.”

I have often traveled to Israel to visit the ancient stones of Israel’s past, but in Ron Nachman I became acquainted with the modern living stones. He leaves a huge hole that will not easily be replaced.

Ron Nachman, dear friend and visionary, devoted to his faith, his family, and his people.  He will be greatly missed.

You can read more about Ron Nachman in the YNET news service:  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4334214,00.html