Temple Israel of Riverhead
490 Northville Turnpike P.O. Box 1531 Riverhead, NY 11901 631-727-3191 TempleIsraelRH@optonline.net
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The Trinity of the Jews
The following article was written by Shep Scheinberg, and is reprinted from the October 2020 Temple Israel of RIverhead Bulletin. Long ago, in a far and distant land, a voice could be heard. “I proclaim the Trinity of the Jews. Thou shalt combine the flesh of the fish pike, whitefish, and carp into an edible named “gefilte fish”. Thou shalt eat this on Shabbat, and on the major and minor holidays of the Jews. This is to remind you of the fish of the sea, who swam and fed Noah and his family. Thou shalt eat horseradish as well, to remind us of the harsh and bitter times in which our people lived”. As the Jews dispersed from that land to other lands around the world, they took with them the Trinity of the Jews and gefilte fish. However, in many lands, pike, whitefish, and carp were not available, and substitutions were made. In or about the year 1922, Samuel Saxstein resided in a home in Riverhead, New York. Next to his home was his butcher shop, which sold both kosher and non-kosher meats. Residing with him were his wife, Sadie, his sons Harry, Leo, Carl, and Morris, and his son’s partner in the practice of law, Isidore Scheinberg. Harry, Leo, and Isidore all practiced law. Morris owned and operated an Army/Navy store; Carl was his father’s right-hand man. Where the house and shop were located along the highway, there were stables, a slaughtering house, and chicken coops in the center of the ten-acre property, with the Peconic River running along the rear. Carl worked in the shop, cared for the animals, made deliveries, and tended a small patch of vegetables. Sam liked to eat in the style of the “old country”. Heavy meals dominated by meat, chickens, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, and bread. The house always had a supply of matzah, no matter the time of year.