I have so many stories, although I only knew him for 3 years.
I remember one night I was walking Shterna home from something, and Rabbi Rodal was asleep on the floor by the front door, so he’d be there to let her in.
I love hearing them tell the story how how they met, their first date, how they’d heard about it each other. It never got old. It was a magical story. I remember Sterna saying that she was sitting on a bench with Rabbi Rodal – second date? – and he asked to change places with her. When she asked why, he said it was because the sun was in her eyes, and he didn’t want it to bother her.
I remember all the meals at their tish, almost every Shabbos, and how all of sudden, Rabbi Rodal would say, “Charna, I have a question for you!” And it would be impossible to answer, and it always ended up with a pun, that also taught me something.
I remember his saying “Vashons!” to signal that it was time to wash – a combination of French and Yiddish. I still say it today.
I remember him showing me whatever new creatures were in his menagerie. I remember spending a Yom Kippur in a bedroom where my roommate was a large size iguana.
I remember seeing him riding his bike impossible distances – to the LA public library in downtown.
I’ll always remember his warmth, his humor, his love of life, his love of Torah and HaShem, and his smile.