Monthly Archives: August 2010

Gil Simkovitch Article Provides Marksmanship Insights

About 3 years ago this article appeared in the Jerusalem Post on Israeli rifle competitor Gil Simkovitch. It is interesting in several ways, but most of all how the author’s misconceptions about target shooting were corrected. Here is a portion I like:

While some would think of a sport involving rifles and ammunition as aggressive, even violent, for Simkovitch it is an exercise in Zen-like tranquility. He enjoys the peace when he is shooting, calling it “a meditative experience.” Since his rifle, a 1913 Anschutz, is ultra-sensitive to the extent that his pulse beating against the barrel shifts the aim, he must be patient and sufficiently aware of his body to time his shots between heartbeats. “It’s hard at competitions, when your heart is racing from excitement,” he says. “It’s a conflict in shooting, because there is pressure to shoot well, which makes it harder. It’s easy to shoot a 10 [a perfect score] when you’re indifferent, but you can’t be indifferent.” He therefore engages in a constant dance to achieve equilibrium. “If you try too hard, you will eventually fail,” he says. “You have to find a balance. This sport is very much about balance.

Although my #1 training excercise at the moment is simply to find time to practice…#2 is developing the mental skills to shoot as well under match conditions as I do during practice. Gil’s observations are 110% b’emet (truth).

Jessica Levine: 2010 Camp Perry Rifle Competitor

Every year target shooting competitors from all across the US flock to Camp Perry located in Ohio for the National Matches. Camp Perry is where we find out who the top guns really are. I know several Jews who go to compete…but until now I haven’t seen many Jewish names on the leader boards. This year I saw the name Jessica Levine, and with a little internet sleuthing was able to confirm that one of the elite US collegiate shooters is indeed a member of the tribe!

Jessica’s results this year:

  • In the NRA 3-Position Championship (201), composed of Metallic Sight Matches (231,232,233), she took 9th place with a 1172-44x. Note this ranking is mixed men and women, military and civilians.
  • In standing (232), she shot a 393-14x, which was 2nd place overall, and earned her the titles of High Woman and High Collegiate. By the way, standing is the toughest position and the game that separates the real shooters from the wannabes.
  • In the aggregate (Metallic and Any Sight), she placed 13th with a 2309-72x!

Mazal Tov!

Sid Caesar: Jewish Marksman

Sid Caesar, the famous actor, writer and comedian is another Jewish Marksman. According to this article quoting a Jewish waiter in the Catskills:
“One of my special guests in the hotel was Sid Caesar. He was a great guy, very nice; I even played pinochle with him. Sid Caesar was quite a marksman. I would go into town, buy cans of shaving cream, and he would shoot them to see how high they would go. He had a .357 magnum and a high-powered rifle. He wouldn’t kill a fly, but he loved to shoot. His best friend owned the Joyva halvah13 company. They’d fill the halvah tins with seltzer, shoot at them. If you have money, you can do anything.”

I stumbled across a quote from Caesar’s biography, where he talks about shooting with famous Jewish comedian Buddy Hackett:

ISSF World Championships: Great Junior Results!

Leor Madlal took second place in 50m Men’s Prone Rifle with 595- 38x, just short of first place by 2x! Mazal Tov! Leor also took 58th in 10m Air Rifle with a 582- 30x. Immanuel Ben Hefer took 15th place in 50m with 593- 31x, also very impressive! Immanuel also took 77th place in 10m Air Rifle with 575- 22x.

Polina Medviner took 76th in 10m Women’s Air Rifle with a 387- 23x.