Meek and mild-mannered Sammy Ginsberg reported for basic training and the
sergeant immediately complained to his captain. "This guy will never be
a soldier. Just look at him!"
The captain responded, "Is it because he's Jewish? Let's get rid of
those stereotypes. Most of the Jewish guys who come through here do just
fine, and look at the Israeli army. They're the best!"
"OK, OK, sir ", said the sergeant, backing off. " We'll give him a fair
Sammy did quite well, following instructions, not making trouble, and
learning all the military skills the training required. In fact, being
good at science and math, he earned the highest score on the rifle range
by carefully making all the delicate sighting adjustments called for to
compensate for distance, wind, elevation, and so forth. Even the farm
boys, who had been firing guns most of their lives, were impressed by his
skill. Sammy did will on long hikes, too, having developed strong legs
from having to walk long distances to and from shul on each Sabbath and
on the holidays.
"Didn't I tell you?", said the captain, and the sergeant nodded his
A small war broke out, and the unit was hurriedly transferred out to the
field to replace another unit. The sergeant led his platoon into battle,
shouting encouragement to all the scared young soldiers. They marched up
a hill, and ther on the other side was the enemy. A fierce struggle
broke out, bullets flying, shells exploding , smoke and pandemonium
everywhere. Then the sergeant noticed that Sammy was not firing his
rifle. "Shoot, Sammy," he yelled. "What's your problem? Start shooting!"
Sammy looked up unhappily. "but Sarge," he said, "there are PEOPLE out