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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 16, 2007 / 4 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Kosher fish tale

By Colleen Mastony


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At market, friendship transcends age, language, race, religion


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)

WHICAGO— For more than 20 years, the two men have worked shoulder to shoulder behind the chopping boards at Robert's Kosher Fish Market on Devon Avenue. One elderly and Jewish. The other young and Mexican.


An odd couple in matching white aprons, they weave around each other to wait on a customer, weigh a slab of whitefish or answer the phone, in what has become a finely choreographed, behind-the-counter ballet.


Robert Schuffler, 90, is the man who gave the shop its name. A great-grandfather with a lopsided grin, bushy eyebrows, a shock of white curly hair under his blue flat cap, he moves slowly these days - back hunched, feet plodding.


Around him bounds Arturo Venegas, 38, a dark-haired man with kind eyes who radiates energy as he polishes the steel counters, hoists boxes heaped with ice and fillets a piece of salmon with a deft flick of his silver knife.


Schuffler once gave Venegas a job and eventually taught him everything about the fish business. And now, roles have reversed in the tiny shop that smells like the sea. Venegas — once a young immigrant who came to this country with nothing - has become the owner. And Schuffler — who opened this shop in 1976 — plays the assistant.


Life in the fish market rolls along. The daily rhythm of customers like an ocean tide, as people cycle in and out the door. The relationship between the two men a reminder of the age-old reciprocity between the generations. The old teaching the young and, in turn, the young caring for the old.


Schuffler is now retired. His children live out of state, and his wife died in 2002. So today, he wants nothing more than a bit of companionship. And Venegas, it turns out, has much to give. He keeps an apron ready for Schuffler, who continues to work behind the counter every day.


The men have become like an old married couple, their lives intertwined with shared experience. When Schuffler was in the hospital recently, Venegas came to visit. And when Venegas had a run-in with the Kosher authorities four years ago in a dispute over some smoked salmon, Schuffler intervened.


Neither man will gush about their feelings.


Schuffler shrugs and says, "It's a close relationship, and how else can I tell you?" But a few minutes later, he drops his voice to a near-whisper as if he is telling a secret and says: "When my wife died, he closed the store and came to the funeral. Yep, he closed the store. That should tell you something."


They met in 1983. Venegas still remembers the day. "It was right after Passover," he recalls, in a sing song lilt in slightly accented English. "A warm day in April."


Venegas was about to turn 14 and spoke no English when he came looking for work. The ninth of 11 children born to a migrant worker and a housewife in Michoacan, Mexico, Venegas had arrived in the U.S. three months before, walking across the border with less than $20 in his pocket.


Back then, Schuffler was already in his late 60s. He had built his life around his family; both his children had become gastroenterologists. He had made his little market a success, but the old man had no one to teach. No one, that is, until Venegas walked through the door.


That first day, Schuffler - who had emigrated from Latvia when he was 6 — saw something of himself in the eager young man. There had been other employees, but "no one had the get-up-and-go" like Venegas, Schuffler recalled.


Schuffler showed his apprentice how to sweep the floors and wipe counters. He didn't speak Spanish and so pantomimed instructions. For months, the two men communicated in hand signals.


Gradually, Schuffler handed over more responsibility, showing Venegas how to see that fish is fresh (look for clear eyes), how to carry the whitefish (hold it by the head), and how to slice a perfect fillet (use a single sweeping movement).


Over the years, Venegas mastered English and became a legal citizen. He learned to keep the books and handle billing. He mastered the rules that govern Kosher fish markets (no shellfish, no scaleless fish, and no bread in the shop during Passover).


In 2000, when Schuffler was 83 and becoming tentative with the fillet knife, he helped young Venegas buy the business, a move that likely made Venegas the only Mexican running a Kosher fish market in Chicago. After the deal closed, their relationship might have ended with a handshake. But Schuffler wanted to keep working. And Venegas wanted him to stay.


"To me, it's amazing. Who was going to think that I was going to know this person?" said Venegas. The reversal of roles is proof that " you never know what's going to happen in the world."


These days Schuffler walks through the door every day around 10 a.m. He ties on an apron, sits on a white plastic chair beside a hulking ice chest and, in his deep gravelly voice, greets each customer by name. For him, the little shop is a second home. Every customer is part of a familiar parade of faces he has watched for half a century.


By early afternoon, Schuffler is at the counter, cutting trout. At his side, Venegas works a piece of salmon.


When Venegas fillets the fish, removing the skin in a fluid movement, Schuffler smiles, points to his protege and declares proudly: "See that? No fish is wasted. Look how perfect!"


Venegas, gently needling the old man, replies with a wink, "Sometimes the student surpasses the teacher."


Schuffler smiles like a bemused Zen master. He nods and replies: "That is an honor to the teacher."


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© 2007, Chicago Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services