Most of us know Sudy Rosengarten, who passed away last week, as a famous author. But Sudy was also a teacher. She taught for many years in TAG in Far Rockaway as well as in Rabbi Kaplan’s high school. She began to teach shortly after her wedding at the age of 22, but then she gave it up after she became too busy with her large family. She was a mother of ten children, including a son with disabilities who required special care and was in and out of hospitals. In 1969 she moved to Eretz Yisrael.
Sudy loved teaching. She loved imbuing her students with middos tovos and yiras shamayim and to inspire them towards bitachon and emunah.
As her husband said when we asked him what her legacy is:
“She was tocho k’baro—she said what she meant, and she meant what she said. She was full of emunah and bitachon that whatever the Ribbono Shel Olam does is good for klal Yisrael, even if we don’t always merit to see it.”
Her niece remembers this side of Sudy as follows:
I write these words on behalf of my dear sister Bylee, a”h, who I know would be writing the same kind of letter.
Many years ago, back in the Williamsburg days, Tanta Sudy told my dear parents that she wanted to teach the Alef-Beis to me and Bylee. She wanted us to learn how to read and daven. We were about six or seven years old at the time.
My parents thought that it would be too difficult for us, but Tanta Sudy insisted (as she always did) that she would try and see what happens.
In the beginning Bylee and I were very excited to go and spend time with [her]. But after a while it started to become boring. It wasn’t easy. We were having a hard time learning one letter after the next. And to learn how to put them together to pronounce words was even harder. We would come once a week for our lesson, and Tanta Sudy would give us homework. But slowly we started to slip behind, and we were ready to give up.
Tanta Sudy bribed us. She said we could pick a new toy every week if we did well and practiced by doing our homework. And it worked! Every week we earned the precious new toy. We took baby steps. A brachah, then Shema, Shemoneh Esrei, etc. This took years until we finally graduated from her lessons.
We found out years later that it was our parents who were buying the toys. They didn’t want Tanta Sudy to spend even one penny…especially because she refused to take any payment for her holy work.
Our parents bought her a very beautiful and elegant ring as a gift.