Those We Have Lost

Arieh, Ruti & Or Akuni: 68, 67, 32: Parents, daughter slain at home

Murdered in Netiv Ha’asara, October 7

Ruti, Arieh and Or Akuni (Courtesy)
Ruti, Arieh and Or Akuni (Courtesy)

Arieh Akuni, 68, his wife Ruti Akuni, 67, and daughter Or Akuni, 32, were murdered by Hamas terrorists in their home in Netiv Ha’asara on October 7.

They were buried on October 17 in the town of Nitzan.

Nechama Akuni, Aryeh and Ruti’s sister-in-law, described the couple as “modest people, who loved others, hardworking people, people of the earth. Their family, their children and their grandchildren were their whole world, and the community in which they lived — which they established after they were evacuated from Yamit [a settlement in the Sinai] — where they raised their children, Netiv Ha’asara, was an integral part of them, and their big love.”

Nechama wrote that every Simhat Torah — the day they were murdered — they would throw a big barbeque “and dozens of people would come to their open house… We miss you so much Arieh, who loved people and dogs, an incredible cook and a wonderful grandfather, and you Ruti, a weaver of flowers, whose pot of stuffed cauliflower we would gobble up. Our hearts are broken and we have only memories and photos left.”

Or worked as a student coordinator for Agrostudies, which brought agricultural interns from around the world to study in Israel. The organization wrote in her memory that “‘Or,’ in Hebrew, means light. And so she was, a ray of light in all of our lives. With her deep, blue eyes and a wide smile that right away spread an optimistic and joyful feeling when she was around.”

“She loved her students so much, was one of a kind, and one of the greatest and beloved coordinators we had. Her all-time goal was to lift the students up and to make them feel at home. She was so proud of her students and their achievements, she was their mother and family,” the company added. “She was a fighter, a motivated person who always encouraged everyone to chase their goals and dreams.”

Yehonatan Cohen, Or’s fiance, wrote a month after her death about all of their unfulfilled plans and dreams.

“All of our plans, the wedding we wanted and spoke about so much, the expected promotion at work, our unending laughs and silly arguments, our gourmet meals of cold schnitzel with ketchup and mayonnaise at 3 a.m…. Where is everything?! How has it all been cut off in the middle?! And why?!”

“You were the purest person in the world, the most real, the happiest, and the most alive… ever since we met 4.5 years ago you lifted me up, built up what was missing, with your wide heart and unending acceptance… The world has gone insane and the sky has fallen. Not fallen, but shattered, shattered and blown up on the ground. I don’t know what we do now.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here. 

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