Esther (Esti) was born on March 23,1921 in Antwerpen Belgium, to Shmuel Elyakim, Hungarian son of a very religious Zionist family, and Chava Krengel of Polish ancestry. After establishing ‘Yesod-Torah School’, her grandfather left for Jerusalem. He was buried on the Mt. of Olives. Esti attended public school, and studied Judaism at Hebrew-school. At fourteen her father died. She helped support the family working polishing diamonds. She joined Bnei-Akiva, then later Beitar. Esti made aliya despite her mother’s objections.
She traveled through Yugoslavia and Italy, and was joined by Polish friends participating in the first Etzel Aliya by sea, headed by Tagenski. Arriving safely near Binyamina after an arduous journey, she was absorbed by Beitar’s Hadera group, and joined Etzel activities. She later moved to the Be’er-Tuvya Work Brigade, was its motivating spirit, and met her partner for life, Tuvya Chenzion. Tuvya was posted to Beitar’s Nahariya group, to establish a Beitar-veterans’ fishing village but Esti was sent to the Nes-Tsiona Work Brigade. She later moved to Nahariya, reunited with her loved one. When Etzel began splitting 1940, they moved to Tel Aviv. Following Yair’s murder, she took part in Tuvia’s initiating changes to the Militia-like structure of the organization, that would enable its becoming a revolutionary- underground.
Yair’s “Principals of Revival” served as their basis. Esti underwent weapons and ideology courses. Esti and Tuvya were married in Marcheshvan, 1943. Their home became a meeting place for the members. Following Yitzhak Shamir and Eliahu Giladi’s escape, she became a Lehi contact person. Her love of Eretz-Yisrael and its people was boundless, filling her soul and radiating outwards. Esti and Tuvya together raised three Israel-loving children, with four grandchildren.
Esti passed away on June 10,1991, and was buried in the Lehi section of the Holon cemetery.