I went to camp in CGI Detorit since i was a very young girl. my parents would have sent me at like 6 but i was too worried about leaving home! my first summer was in 82 and i went every single year even as staff and head staff.
Most of the years I was there Rabbi Rodal was the camp Rabbi and Mrs Rodal the camp Mommy
but they were both so much more to everyone in camp , most important they were our Shadchan 🙂
Rabbi Rodal was so humble and unassuming that it’s hard to think of him as someone one would praise and tell stories about, he’d probably feel so uncomfortable but i guess in עולם האמת all is revealed and there is nothing to hide.
Most likely the two famous things about Rabbi Rodal are the animals he brought to camp and his kickball coaching, i also fondly recall the songs we would sing ” Rabbi Rodal he’s our man if he can’t do it, no one can!” also “Rabbi Rodal is the Rabbi of us all…”
If i remember correctly at every meal there was a Devar Torah by Rabbi Rodal something pertaining to that day. he also taught the halachos of the season such as the three weeks or Tisha B’eav or chodesh Elul and of course he would blow the shofar for us.
I recall one time Rabbi Rodal somehow found out i misunderstood his teaching in Halacha about rinsing ones mouth on a fast day and he sought me out during supper to explain it to me.
Of course i always loved playing sports (in frum girls style in the lawn of school) it was with great enthusiasm that i participated in the annual kickball competition against another all girls jewish camp.
we had so much fun practicing and getting better at the game i cant believe that Rabbi Rodal coached a bunch of us teenage frum girls that were pretty clueless about playing a competition with anyone other then our friends and we won! (at leas the first year)
i did it in CIT and AJC and loved every second of it.
Rabbi Rodal of course coached us in an איידלע and צניותדיקע way that seemed like -of course the Rabbi coaches kickball!
the animals were for sure a favorite – i couldn’t believe that no one every showed us how chicken’s hatch from eggs! Rabbi Rodal kept these little cages or incubators in a dark area of the A-frame and let kids come look at it at various times.
one day in the dining room he said to a few of us ” come i have to show you something?” i was a little concerned.. turned out he had the lights off and had a flash light to show us how the baby chicks are growing in the eggs..
I will not analyze or try to talk about any of Rabbi Rodal’s qualities, you all know him much better then i do, one thing is for sure he always had joy and the best (corny) jokes ( when i saw the book Rabbi Riddle speaks , i thought for sure it was published by Rabbi Rodal, was it?) he would randomly stop one of us and ask a question in all seriousness and we had to come up with an answer and shortly realized it was a joke or riddle!
May all the sweet and precious memories carry you through this extremely difficult time…may Hashem bring you comfort with Moshiach.