Shlomo Ron, 85, saved his family by sitting in his armchair.

When terrorists entered Kibbutz Nahal Oz and began massacring its residents on the morning of Saturday, October 7, Ron, his wife Hannah, daughters and grandchild were at home.

As it became clear that terrorists were moving from home to home, Ron told his family to enter the safe room in the house while he remained outside.

Despite being urged to join them, he decided to sit in the living room all by himself, so that when Hamas terrorists might enter the house they’d think he’s just an elderly man home alone, shoot him and move on, without searching for more people.

And it worked. After they killed him, more and more terrorists entered the house, saw a dead man sitting alone, and moved on, not bothering to take another look. All this time, his family was in the relative safety of their shelter, until they were rescued in the evening.

“On Saturday morning, when the terrorists were at their doorstep, my uncle, empty-handed, used his elderly, sick body to protect the house with his wife, daughters and grandson who were in the safe room,” his niece Irit Shamir-Bertz shared on Facebook.

“He went out to the living room, sat down in his armchair and waited for them. And they, the murderers, came, saw an old and lonely man sitting in an armchair, shot him and moved on. It didn’t cross their minds that this old man was physically protecting his dear treasure, his wife and family, and that’s why they moved on. That’s how my aunt Hannah’leh, my cousins and my cousin’s son were saved.”

Ron was among the founding members of the southern kibbutz, where he set roots in his teens, and where he met his wife and raised three children with her. He was buried in Kibbutz Kinneret on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where his wife was from, and where she has now been offered a place to live. 

Ron’s story has touched the hearts of so many people in Israel, and the photo of him — a loving, smiling grandfather — will remain engraved there for a long time to come.