Rachel was born in 1929 in Lodz, Poland, to Gershon and Zipporah (née Roina) Buxenbaum. The house was traditional, religious, Zionist and Revisionist. Zeev Jabotinsky was an honored figure in the house. Her older brother Mordechai made aliyah at age fifteen; the entire family made aliyah in 1933 and moved to Tel Aviv. Rachel studied in Talpiot School, and then at Pittman.
When she was fourteen, she joined Lehi, and this was due to the detention of her older brother, Binyamin Haruvi, who was exiled with others to Kenya. Rachel started working in the youth division, then in the division for recruitment, propaganda and instruction. She also served in the communications department and Department 6 (Intelligence). She was trained with firearms and explosives. She also participated in the planning of many Lehi operations.
Her brother and sister followed in her footsteps. The brother Mordechai was abroad on a mission from Lehi. The younger sister, whose nom de guerre was Yardena, was active in the medical department, taking care of the sick and injured; she too served in Department 6. She died at age 56.
Rachel was the girlfriend of Meir “Aharon” Levinger, who was killed at Iraq Suwaydan, in which additional Lehi members were killed.
She enlisted in the IDF, took a squad commanders’ course, and commanded a course for drivers. In the meantime, her father Gershon and brother Avraham were killed by the Egyptian bombing of Tel Aviv. Due to the tragedy, she was reassigned to an administrative role, in Tel Aviv, and she had to deal with suspicion and difficulty, as she had been a Lehi member.
At the time, Rachel met a Lehi member, Avraham Zuriel (Podhoretzer), and shortly afterwards they married. They had three children and eight grandchildren.
They divorced after fifteen years, and Rachel remarried.