Rafael was born on 19 March 1931, in Caracas, Venezuela to Malka and Ezra Memia. He made aliyah with his parents on the ship Virgilio, and he settled in Jerusalem’s Old City.

While he was still young, his father passed away. His mother raised him, together with the help of his grandparents. He studied in the Sephardic Talmud Torah in the Old City, and once he completed his studies, he decided to help the family by making brooms. He was a great help to his mother, and in his free time, he would read books. His mother and grandparents did everything to protect him due to his poor health.

Nevertheless, Rafael joined Lehi and took part in attacks on Arabs in Jerusalem.

The day after the State was established, on 15 May 1948, he was injured by an antitank weapon during the battle for Notre Dame. His childhood friend, David Avital, who was also a Lehi member, saw him on the stretcher and spoke with him, trying to cheer him up. He even told his family about his injury. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

Rafael was buried in the Sanhedria Cemetery. On 30 July 1953, his bones were re-interred at Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery.