Just Monday night, First Sergeant Yehonatan Einhorn spoke with his mother on the phone and asked his family to be strong. Just a few hours after their phone conversation, Yonathan was killed in a fierce battle against Hizbullah in the area of Aita al-Shaab in south Lebanon.
Yehonatan’s parents, Revital and David, from Moshav Gimzo near Lod, were very involved with all aspects of their first-born son’s military service. Just a month ago he celebrated his 22nd birthday.
Yehonatan studied at a Yeshiva high school, following which he attended a pre-army preparatory program. He joined the IDF paratroopers reconnaissance company together with his friends, then moved to the 101st Battalion.
Yehonatan took part in the fierce battle a week ago in Bint Jbeil, where eight troops were killed. His good friend Gideon Goldenberg, also from Gimzo, was seriously wounded in the battle and is still hospitalized at the Rambam Hospital.
'Life and death battle'
Yehonatan, however, managed to evade injury when his cell phone miraculously acted as a shield blocking shrapnel from wounding his person.
On Sunday Yehonatan and his friends had a few days break, and they went to Haifa where he met his parents, who brought him new glasses to replace the ones that broke during combat.
Yehonatan’s parents said he told them of the fierce fighting in Lebanon.
“This is a battle of life and death,” he told his parents. “It is either us or them.”
“He was the salt of the earth,” Yehonatan’s uncle Avraham said. “He took everything in stride; he was crazy about the army and the paratroopers in particular. Whenever he had the time he would travel throughout the country with his friends.”
David Einhorn, who was called up for reserve duty, was the first to receive word of his son’s death when Yehonatan’s friend from the army phoned him to express his condolences; the stunned father immediately called his wife at her workplace and asked that she rush home.
Yehonatan is survived by his parents and four siblings.