Caryn Gale

I was so saddened to hear the news that Rabbi Rodal passed away.  He really had a strong influence on me and my path to religion and Judaism.
Many, many years ago when the Pittsburgh Public Schools went on strike my parents sent me to the Yeshiva.  It was a shock to me.  I had almost no Jewish upbringing to that point.  I was only in the 4th grade.  And all the sudden I was trying to learn the Aleph Bet, to daven, to learn Torah, and to understand what being Jewish meant.  Many teachers didn’t have the patience or ability to teach on such a low level or to make it exciting to want to be able to learn all that was so important to know.
But Rabbi Rodal’s class was the highlight as I continued my studies at the Yeshiva.  He always, always had a smile and his eyes lit up from teaching us Torah.  I would say that even his eyes smiled when he taught Torah.  He understood my thirst to learn more and assisted me in buying many many seforim to build my own collection – most that I still have to this day.  He would recommend seforim that would be important for me to have and then purchase them and I would reimburse him.  I am happy and proud to own them today.
My Mother, Faith Weinstein wasn’t so thrilled with me becoming religious.  She felt very threatened by it all.  And preferred that I remain non religious.  There were a few women and Rabbi’s in the community that really reached out to my mother and tried to open her eyes to religion.  Rabbi Rodal and Shterna were among the few that my mother truly respected and listened to.  She always spoke very highly of both and that really made a big difference on helping me follow the path to religion.
I am proud to be dati today.  I made aliyah almost 23 years ago – a true dream.  I have 3 beautiful children – my oldest daughter is married, is a nurse and bli ayin hara has 5 beautiful children, my next is married, a graduate of the Technion in Air and Space Engineering and works for the Israel Ministry of Defense to help protect our country.  My ‘youngest’ just started his army service in the Air Force.  I feel very grateful and fortunate to have found this path and I definitely think back to that Pittsburgh Public School strike and believe that Hashem was sending a message to all of us to wake up and appreciate who we are and where we come from.  I attend a weekly Shabbat shiur for women that is sponsored by the local Modiin Chabad.
And I am thankful that my life is as full as it is and that those teachers that made such a good impression on me and showed me joy and happiness in religion were truly a gift.  And so yes, Rabbi Rodal was a gift from Hashem to helping me and others see the beauty of the path to religion and meaning in Judaism.  He always was full of energy and excitement that was so contagious to those he wanted to teach.
My heart goes out to you and I hope that time and good memories will help you heal.  May his memory be a blessing and may you be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Jerusalem.
Thank you!
Caryn Weinstein Gale
(My father Sherman Weinstein owned the kosher bakery in Pittsburgh for years – he is retired now and still living in Pittsburgh).
My Mother Faith Weinstein became very active in the Jewish community and was the Director of the Pgh Israel Bonds office.  She sadly passed away over 11 years ago.
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