30 Mar 2006

Mar 30, 2006 – Helena Halevy, 58, of Kedumim, was one of four people killed  when a suicide bomber hitchhiker disguised as an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student detonated his explosive device near the entrance to Kedumim.

Rafi Halevy and his wife Helena were returning home to Kedumim and picked up several hitchhikers at the nearby settlement of Karnei Shomron – among them the suicide bomber disguised as a yeshiva student. The cell that claimed responsibility for the attack called itself after Hamada Shatiwi, a senior operative in the Fatah’s military wing in Nablus who was killed in an IDF operation.

Helena immigrated to Israel from Brazil 40 years ago, when she was 18, to volunteer at Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzhak. There she met and fell in love with Rafi, a counselor. Helena's best friend, Miriam Tartner, related: "She knew right away that she had met the love of her life. She wrote her parents and said, 'I'm not coming home.'" They married and later moved to Kfar Gideon in the Jezreel Valley, where they worked in agriculture. They settled in Kedumim 17 years ago.

Her daughter, Na'ama, related that “Mom and Dad kept an open house, which was always full, and whoever was hungry or tired could find something to eat and a spot to rest. Mom ran the after-school activity center in Kedumim, and had a ready ear for everyone, children and adults.” Helena shared her husband's love for gardening, and their garden was filled with flowers and fruit trees.

Rafi and Helena Halevy was buried in Kedumim. They are survived by four children, Oded, Gilad, Neaama, and Neta, and three grandchildren, Shaun, 4, Rona, 3 and Maya, 1.