Sara Duker went to Israel to be with the man she loved. Three days after a terrorist bomb attack, she was buried by his side.
An estimated 1,400 mourners gathered at Beth El Temple Wednesday for the funeral of her boyfriend, Matthew Eisenfeld, 25, of West Hartford. Later, several hundred mourners watched as the two coffins were lowered into the ground on a cloudy, chilly day in the Beth El Cemetery."It's so appropriate that they be buried near each other," Rabbi Stanley Kessler said. "Their souls are surely intertwined for all eternity."
During the funeral, two candles burned atop Eisenfeld's casket at the front of the sanctuary as two hearses waited near the entrance of the synagogue. One bore the coffin of Duker, 22, whose funeral was held a day earlier in her hometown of Teaneck, N.J.
Eisenfeld, a Yale graduate and rabbinical student, and Duker, a microbiology student, were among 27 people killed during two explosions early Sunday in Israel.
Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, said the two were on the threshold of announcing their engagement.
Among those at Eisenfeld's funeral was Gov. John G. Rowland.
Eisenfeld's friend, Shai Held, eulogized him as a religious inspiration who always sipped coffee, enjoyed poetry, liked to sing and "loved to laugh and horse around."
Held said that Eisenfeld and Duker were such generous souls that they once tried to help a homeless woman who was selling bookmarks. They thought she could make more money crocheting, so they bought her needles and thread.
"Matt, of course, proudly wore the yarmulke she made for him," Held said.