A Song and a Memory of Murdered Friends

A Song and a Memory of Murdered Friends

This Friday night, around the Shabbat table, out of the blue my daughter began singing the traditional Rosh Chodesh song “Tiyhe HaChodesh Hazeh.”

This isn’t a song I hear often. But every time I do I’m transported back almost 30 years ago to the first time I heard that song, sung by a rabbinic student named Matt Eisenfeld. He and his girlfriend, Sara Duker, who had been my Pardes classmate, were attending a Shabbat meal at the home of common friends. And I remember that Matt, who’d cofounded a Jewish acapella group at Yale, lit up when he sang that song. It was, he said, one of his favorite songs.
Two weeks before our wedding in March 1996, one morning I woke up very early and very suddenly around 6 AM, and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I went to the living room, turned on the TV, and saw there had just been a bus bombing by the Central Bus Station.

A few hours later, Josh called and told me there was terrible news. That a couple we knew had been killed on the 18 bus. “Don’t go anywhere, I’m coming right over…” and he ran the few blocks from his apartment to mine to tell me that among the victims of the bombing were two people who we’d planned to dance with at our wedding (and, we’d hope, their wedding as well) Matt and Sara HY”D.

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