Raphael was born in 1930 in Tel Aviv to a family with deep roots in the Land of Israel. His father Yosef was born in Hebron, and during the 1929 riots he fled to Tel Aviv. His mother, Miriam, of the famous Meni family, was a nurse who raised a family of six. The father’s family, twelfth-generation residents of the Land of Israel, had land and vineyards in the Hebron area, which were abandoned due to the riots.
It was only natural for Raphael, coming from such a deep-rooted family, to find his way to the underground to liberate the homeland from the foreign occupier.
At sixteen, indeed, he joined Lehi and served in many capacities. One time, as he put up posters, he was seized by the British, after pursuit with armored vehicles and gunshots. He was tried and sentenced to a year of exile. After a few months, he managed to escape, and he hid with Lehi supporters in the north, while he kept up his underground activities. Later, he returned to Tel Aviv.
In May 1948, he joined the IDF along with the other Lehi members, and he was assigned to Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade, with which he fought in every battle. During the ceasefire, he was injured in a jeep accident and hospitalized, but he ran away and rejoined his unit. There he met Tova Romano, medic of Battalion 82, whom he married after the war was over. When they were demobilized, Raphael and Tova were among the founding members of Kibbutz Neve Yair in the Negev, along with other former Lehi members, after undergoing agricultural training in Kibbutz Afikim. After the group broke up, they married and moved to Kfar Saba. At first, he worked in Sodom at the Dead Sea Works, but later he set up his own business, a machining workshop.
In his reserve duty, he fought in the Sinai War, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War. He served in two commando units, Egoz and Shaked.
In 1981, they moved to Binyamina, where he built his family home. In his final years, he had a minor stroke. He lived with his wife in Kfar Saba. The couple had four children and eleven grandchildren.
Raphael passed away after an illness on 3.6.2001. He was buried in the Kfar Saba Cemetery.