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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Remembering Ron Nachman, the Lonely Man of Faith

When Ron Nachman set out to found the city of Ariel, he was not interested in just another community of tens to hundreds of families to the east of the Green Line.

Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman

Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman
Photo Credit: Maya Levin / Flash90

In his later years, Ron spoke less and less about security and more and more about G-d’s promises to His people. He spoke about Jewish inalienable rights. About moral conviction and about historic justice. “If this land was given to us by G-d, how can we be considered trespassers?” The proud secular Zionist with the hard earned bulldozer reputation was finally shifting gears.

At least that’s the way it looked on the exterior as faith is not what we feel, think or hope, it’s what we do. The Hebrew term for faith, emunah, shares the same root as ne’eman, which means loyal. Faith is about acting in accordance with what you already know to be true. It’s about being loyal. Faith is about following through with what you’ve built, and making it grow greater. It’s about being true to yourself, even when you’re all alone.

Today, Ron Nachman rests. He is buried on a hilltop, situated along Ariel’s majestic 12 km long mountain range. Although his grave is the only one perched atop the Ariel National Leadership Development Center, Ron is not alone. The playful chatter of hundreds of kindergarten kids, the thoughtful laughter of thousands of schoolchildren and the studious dialogues among 13,000 of Ariel’s university students, all bounce among the hills. Ron gave the future generations of Israel and the Jewish People a city they can be proud of. Thanks to his efforts, the leaders of tomorrow now have the capacity to follow in his ways.

About the Author: Avi Zimmerman is the executive-director of the Ariel Development Fund.


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