In Memoriam of:

Refael Ariel Guri

Age: 30

From: Ofakim

In Loving Memory of the Innocent Souls Taken Too Soon. United in peace, their light shines on in the hearts left behind. October 7, 2023, a day of sorrow, but their memories guide us toward a hopeful tomorrow.

Ariel Refael Guri, 30, and IDF Staff Sgt. Roi Haim Guri, 21, brothers from Ofakim, were killed on October 7 when they set out to try and repel a Hamas invasion of their city.

They are survived by their parents, Zehava and Avinadav, and sisters Hodaya and Shira. Ariel is also survived by his wife, Hadar.

The pair were buried side by side in the military section of the Ofakim cemetery on October 13 — after their sister fought and won the right to provide them both with a military funeral.

Ariel, an electrical engineering student, and Roi, a Golani soldier, went out to the streets to fight against Hamas terrorists in Ofakim.

Ariel’s wife, Hadar, told the Makor Rishon newspaper that they were staying with his parents over the Simhat Torah holiday and awoke from the air raid sirens, then heard gunfire outside.

“Ariel ran out the door with his weapon drawn, running toward the gunfire, Roi ran after him with bare hands, and I ran after them shouting ‘Ariel, Ariel!’ He was so focused that he didn’t look back, he just shouted to Roi ‘Go back, go home!'”

Hadar said that she was around 50m (150 ft) away when she saw Ariel take up a position behind a wall: “He had his gun ready, shooting toward the terrorists… Then I saw five terrorists come from behind the wall, shoot him from a very short distance, and he fell. After a few minutes Roi was also killed.”

She said she ran from the scene and hid in a building, and only realized she had been shot after a neighbor pointed out her leg was bleeding. She wanted to go check to see if Ariel was still breathing, but she said she understood he was no longer alive. “Ariel and Roi went out to fight and protect the city. They were brave and wanted to save lives. Ariel drew the gunfire to him, and therefore people who were outside managed to flee. He and Roi were very close, and were not parted even in death.”

Their sister, Hodaya Guri, 28, told Ynet that “they went to fight first… Ariel’s wife begged him to stop, to come home. But he didn’t listen.” Hodaya said, “The Ofakim that we knew until now was a happy city, people didn’t lock their doors, it was safe. It says at the entrance to the city, ‘a city of people.’ It should be changed to read ‘a city of heroes.'”

Roi’s friend, Eliad Sharabi, wrote on TikTok that he met him when he came to help run a summer camp in Ashkelon. “The moment he walked in and smiled I saw his Jewish soul smiling, his pure eyes and we immediately connected.” Sharabi said he spent Shabbat with the Guri family “and Roi came to pick me up and hugged me, took care of me, made me food and gave me his bed… I am so proud that I was your friend, that I was privileged to know you.”

Hodaya told Ynet that they grew up in a “home full of the joy of life… During our entire childhood, we would play outside, in the neighborhood, playing tag and hide and seek until we were called in for dinner.”

Both of her brothers “had a lot of love for the land and especially for Ofakim,” said Hodaya. “And they were both generous people… I wouldn’t expect them to act any differently. It was fun to be with them, they each had something special.”

Ariel, she said “was like my twin brother, we went to the same elementary school, I knew his friends and he knew my friends, we would hang out a lot together… He was the jokester of the house, he had a rare talent of always managing to pull out a joke even in unpleasant circumstances.”

Roi, Hodaya recounted, was someone “I looked at with admiration, we had a special relationship… he was the first one I told when I started dating [now husband] Matanel. He always understood me, he was a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.”

“I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that in one day I lost two brothers.”
Source: The Times of Israel 

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Here we celebrate the memories, the joys, and the life of Refael Ariel Guri.