An American-born IDF lone soldier whose family lives in New Jersey spent his first year in Israel helping other people before he enlisted a year ago in the military. He died Sunday morning in a freak accident on the Golan Heights near Mount Hermon.
IDF Sergeant Shlomo Ridenow, z’l, was one of five brothers who moved to Israel to enlist in combat. He came from Passaic, New Jersey two years ago.
The 20-year-old was just two months shy of his 21st birthday; he lived in Kibbutz Sde Yoav, and served for a year in a civilian canine unit in Kfar Tapuach before enlisting in the Israeli army.
He and his rescue dog worked as a member of the search and rescue unit to find missing persons, the Hebrew-language Rotter.net website reported.
A second brother serves in an IDF paratrooper unit.
“He was always in love with Israel,” his older sister Yocheved told reporters. “He didn’t know Hebrew, because he didn’t grow up here. She he came here, he taught himself Hebrew and he joined the unit that he was really passionate about.”
Rindenow was killed when the grenade held by 24 year old Sgt. First Class Hussam Tafesh (res) blew up in his hands. Tafesh, a member of the Druze community, lived in the northern Israeli village of Beit Jann.
Three other soldiers were injured in the blast which occurred on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams.
Rindenow and Tafesh were members of the 601 Assaf Battalion of the Combat Engineering Corps. The three wounded soldiers are members of the 401st Artillery Brigade. The investigation into the accident is being headed by an officer at the rank of colonel.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet.Hana Levi Julian