Daniel was born on January 6, 1979, in Toronto, Canada to Cheryl and David Mandel. He is the younger brother of Nicole and Yonah and the older brother of Gabriel and Shlomo. From his earliest childhood, Daniel was a mischievous "Gingi" (redhead) . At an early age he showed an affinity for music and started to learn the piano. He was a very sociable child and showed qualities of leadership from very early on. At the age of four he spent one year on Kibbutz Masada and Moshav Amirim. When he turned eight his family came on Aliyah and settled in Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion.
He was a pupil at the local primary school. He rapidly became a central figure both at school and in the Bnei Akiva youth movement in Gush Etzion. Daniel continued his high school studies at the Neve Shmuel High School Yeshivah in Efrat. In addition to his studies, Daniel devoted considerable time to developing his unusual musical skills. During this period he practiced the piano, electric and bass guitars, harmonica and flute. He loved the land of Israel and enjoyed traveling across the country whenever he could. He particularly enjoyed seeing less known or seldom visited places, and doing things that others had not yet done before him. For example, when he was in his second year of high school, he spontaneously cycled through the Judean desert to the Dead Sea. In high school, he was a youth leader in Bnei Akiva youth movement at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. After high school, Daniel devoted one year before his call-up to study at the pre-army "Preparation Program" in Atzmona in Gush Katif.
In March 1999, Daniel joined the ranks of the Nachal Brigade. He was assigned to the reconnaissance company. He was a soldier in the Amit platoon. Daniel completed his training course in November 2000, and his unit requested that he serve as a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) for training recruits. He served for four months as (NCO) recruits of the November 2000 draft. Thereafter he went on the officers’ course and returned to the unit as platoon commander of the November 2001 recruits. He led his soldiers throughout their course. In parallel to giving them their professional training in the most thorough manner, he injected many values that were important for him to transmit. He did this by taking them on numerous trips around the country whenever possible (so that the soldiers could understand what they are fighting for) and took them for visits to a home for battered women or to a party in an institution for the mentally retarded.
Daniel was killed in battle in Nablus on April 15, 2003, while leading his soldiers in an operation to capture three wanted terrorists responsible for the deaths of at least thirty and the injury of over one hundred and fourty Israelis.
Daniel was buried in the Kfar Etzion Cemetery. Thousands of people paid Daniel their last respects. Daniel leaves behind his parents, three brothers, one sister, three nephews and many, many loving friends.