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First-time novelist authors best-selling book that has placed it on several “Jewish” book lists – but be prepared to be shocked

"All NIght Pharmacy" author Ruth Madievsky

By BERNIE BELLAN A while back I was looking for a book that had somewhat of a Jewish theme but wasn’t what you might typically expect to fall into any sort of a “Jewish” oeuvre.
One title grabbed my attention as I scanned various lists of titles that had made their way on to compilations of recently recommended “Jewish” books – not only because it had excellent reviews, but because various descriptions of it that I read made it seem more like a nightmarish version of modern-day Los Angeles life than anything.
The book is “All Night Pharmacy,” written by someone by the name of Ruth Madievsky who, in her day job, is actually a pharmacist (working primarily with HIV patients at UCLA Health).
The pharmacist connection proves to be of immense importance since there are descriptions of so many illicit substances in this book that it’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t have a detailed acquaintance with so many of them ever being able to write so knowingly about them.
The novel’s protagonist – and narrator, whose name is never given, is 18 years old at the beginning of the story and it’s not quite clear how much time elapses by the end. She comes from a family of former Soviet Union refugees. Her mother is totally paranoid, constantly thinking that she is being pursued by the KGB, while her grandmother has been traumatized having seen her own father shot back in the Soviet Union.
Yet, aside from those passing mentions of the narrator’s quite tenuous connections to her Jewish heritage there is really nothing that would lead one to suggest “All Night Pharmacy” would be recommended reading for a “Jewish” book club per se.
But don’t let that dissuade you from taking a stab at reading this novel. Ruth Madievsky, aside from being a pharmacist, is also a poet – apparently of some renown. Her prose is incendiary in how much it crackles with descriptions of a really seedy LA.
Much of the early part of the novel takes place in a bar known as Salvation, where the narrator and her sister Debbie spend most evenings (when Debbie isn’t busy working as a stripper), fraternizing with a drug-ridden group of individuals who seem to come and go, but don’t have much in the way of storylines themselves.
Along the way of her own descent into a life of debauchery the narrator does end up with a guy by the name of Ronnie, who seems half way normal, but of whom the narrator eventually tires. As her life disintegrates around her she commits one very violent act that leads to her sister Debbie’s disappearing.
By the time she has just about reached the very abyss of despair, the narrator manages to rescue herself – at least somewhat, by taking a job as a receptionist in the emergency ward of an LA hospital. Although she doesn’t really empathize with the various unfortunate individuals who find their way into the hospital, it does seem to provide her with at least enough of a solid grounding that she can begin to free herself of the many drugs that she had been ingesting on a regular basis to that point.
Into the emergency ward one night enters a beautiful, mysterious – also Jewish, young woman by the name of Sasha, who is from Moldova. Sasha claims to be a psychic and she does exhibit an extraordinary intuitiveness about many things that leaves the narrator spellbound.
One day – and by this point the two women are living together and enjoying a physical relationship, although it’s not intrinsic to what is still quite an odd coupling, Sasha invites the narrator to come with her to Moldova.
The novel takes quite a turn at that point as we are taken to Moldova and the two women settle into a strange sort of co-existence in a former Soviet republic that has fallen into quite a state of disrepair.
Eventually the narrator returns to LA and the final part of the novel is taken up with her quest to find her long-lost sister.
There are so many twists and turns throughout “All Night Pharmacy” and the narrator ingests so many illegal substances for such a long period that it’s impossible to believe that someone so young could find her way out of a life that had spiralled out of control so badly without actually entering rehab.
Still, if you can put aside your disbelief that what you are reading is at all plausible, you will be taken on an enthralling ride.
And, why would I suggest that this book might be recommended reading for a “Jewish” book club? It would be because it touches upon many aspects of life in the 21st century that would not be uncommon for many people who, even though they might have only the slightest connection to a Jewish heritage, we could still consider Jewish.
How many young people – or older people for that matter, whose Jewish identity is almost totally forgotten, struggle with drug addiction – or other addictions? And how many others among us may have a Jewish parent or grandparent but nothing else that would distinguish us from the non-Jewish public?
In that sense “All Night Pharmacy” speaks to the reality of life in the 21st century when so many aspects of our identities are not related to anything that we might describe as “Jewish,” yet we still cling to the notion that we are Jewish – if only tenuously.
I doubt that anyone reading this book would suggest that it would have made more sense for the protagonist to find her way back to a fuller life had she attempted to put herself in touch with her Jewish roots. That wouldn’t have been authentic.
Further, it probably wouldn’t have made much difference had the author decided not to have any mention of anything Jewish in the novel at all. Yet, reading “All Night Pharmacy” says so much about Ruth Madieveky’s own background that it certainly opens one’s eyes to how someone Jewish who has experienced life in the former Soviet Union and who has a strong background in pharmaceuticals is able to integrate all those elements into a very compelling story.

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Hamas Official Says Terror Group ‘Would Do Oct. 7 Attack Again’ if Possible to Go Back in Time

An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of an attack following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip lying on the ground in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, Oct. 10, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

Hamas would carry out its brutal Oct. 7 invasion of and massacre across southern Israel again if it could travel back in time, according to the Palestinian terrorist group’s representative in Lebanon.

“We would do it again!” Ahmad Abd Al-Hadi said with a smile in an interview last week with Lebanon’s Annahar newspaper when asked whether Hamas would repeat its onslaught. “If we could go back in time, we would do it again, because the justifications still exist.”

The interview was flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which translated and posted Al-Hadi’s comments.

“Why am I saying that we would do it again? Because what made us do it is very important and strategic,” the Hamas official explained. “It is not something that we could remain silent about … The Palestinian cause was about to be eliminated, by means of normalizing of relations at the expense of the Palestinian rights.”

Al-Hadi appeared to be referring to the idea of Israel and Saudi Arabia normalizing relations.

Before Oct. 7, the prospect of reaching a historic peace deal between the two longtime foes appeared possible. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in an interview in September, weeks before the onslaught and ensuing war in Hamas-ruled Gaza, that “every day we get closer” to a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. As part of the process, Bin Salman hoped to “ease the life of the Palestinians” and seemed willing to shelve the issue of Palestinian statehood in favor of an agreement with the US on the use of nuclear material and a weapons deal.

While such conversations have reportedly resumed in recent weeks, Saudi officials have said a normalization deal must now include an “irreversible path” to Palestinian statehood, fearing backlash. According to reports, Bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, fears being branded a “traitor” to the Palestinian cause amid Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, potentially undermining the kingdom’s legitimacy as the leader of the Islamic world.

Many analysts have argued that Iran, which backs Hamas and is its chief international sponsor, intentionally torpedoed the Israel-Saudi normalization process with the Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state. Leaders of both Iran and Hamas have repeatedly said they seek Israel’s destruction.

Beyond preventing normalization, Al-Hadi also accused Israel of planning a “preemptive” military strike in Gaza without providing evidence.

“They saw the resistance in Gaza, and … they planned to launch a preemptive strike against it, so that it would not interfere with these plans of theirs, and in particular the plan that is connected to Gaza: the Ben Gurion Canal project,” he said.

The Ben Gurion Canal project is an ambitious proposal conceived by some Israelis in the 1960s to construct a canal connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, thereby giving Israel more control over key shipping lanes. There is no evidence that the Israeli government intends to build the canal, especially through Gaza. However, critics of Israel, especially in Arab media, have hurled the accusation at the Jewish state to undermine the Israeli military campaign against Hamas, portraying it as a decision for economic gain rather than security reasons following Oct. 7.

Al-Hadi is not the first member of Hamas to publicly call for more Oct. 7-style attacks on Israel.

Less than three weeks after the atrocities, a Hamas official promised that the Palestinian terrorist group will repeat its massacre of Israelis “again and again” to bring about the Jewish state’s “annihilation.”

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau and a spokesman for the Iran-backed terror organization, told Lebanon’s LBC TV in an Arabic language interview on Oct. 24 that Israel “must be finished.”

“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again,” Hamad said. “[The Oct. 7 massacre] is just the first time and there will be a second, a third, a fourth … the occupation must come to an end.”

Asked if by ending “the occupation” he meant the “annihilation” of Israel, Hamad replied, “Yes, of course.”

On Oct. 7, Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped over 250 others as hostages during their surprise invasion of the Jewish state. It was the biggest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Mounting evidence has revealed that the terrorists perpetrated systematic sexual violence against the Israeli people, including mass rape and torture.

The post Hamas Official Says Terror Group ‘Would Do Oct. 7 Attack Again’ if Possible to Go Back in Time first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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The Role of Certified Translators in Literary Translation

Literary translation is a nuanced art that bridges cultural divides and brings diverse voices to a global audience. At the heart of this intricate process are certified translators, professionals whose expertise and precision ensure that the essence and beauty of literary works are faithfully conveyed across languages. As a diverse and multicultural city, Vancouver’s need for these experts is unending – and that’s why understanding their critical role in the literary world highlights their importance in preserving the integrity and impact of literature.

What is a Literary Translator?

A literary translator is a professional who specializes in translating written works, such as novels, poems, plays, and essays, from one language into another. They not only convert the words and phrases but also capture the nuances, tone, and cultural context of the original text. This requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages, as well as an appreciation for the literary and cultural nuances involved.

Literary translators aim to preserve the author’s voice and intent, making the work resonate with readers in a different linguistic and cultural setting, while maintaining the artistic integrity of the original piece. A perfect example of this is Languages in Motion in Vancouver, who focus on making sure that everyone, no matter which language they speak, is able to have their material accessible, and vice versa.

Preserving the Author’s Voice

One of the foremost challenges here is maintaining the author’s unique voice and style. Every author has a distinct way of expressing ideas, emotions, and narratives. Certified translators possess the skills necessary to capture these subtleties, ensuring that the text resonates with the same tone and rhythm as the original. This requires not only a deep understanding of both the source and target languages but also a keen sensitivity to literary nuances.

These professionals are trained to recognize and reproduce literary devices such as metaphors, similes, idiomatic expressions, and cultural references. Their expertise ensures that the work retains the original’s artistic qualities, offering readers an authentic experience that is true to the author’s intent.

Cultural Sensitivity and Context

Literary works are deeply rooted in their cultural contexts, reflecting the traditions, beliefs, and societal norms of their time and place. Certified translators play a crucial role in bridging cultural gaps, making literature accessible to a broader audience while preserving its cultural essence. They are adept at navigating cultural nuances and ensuring that the text is culturally appropriate and relatable to the target audience.

This cultural sensitivity involves more than just language proficiency; it requires an intimate knowledge of both the source and target cultures. These experts are equipped to handle cultural references and idiomatic expressions that may not have direct equivalents in the target language. By doing so, they preserve the cultural richness of the original work, providing readers with a deeper understanding of different cultures.

Accuracy and Faithfulness

Accuracy is paramount in literary assets. Certified translators are trained to provide precise and faithful documentations, ensuring that the meaning of the original text is accurately conveyed. This is particularly important in literature, where even slight deviations can alter the intended message or emotional impact.

Such professionals also adhere to high standards of quality and accuracy, often undergoing rigorous certification processes that test their proficiency and skills. Their commitment to excellence ensures that the work maintains the integrity of the original, offering readers a true representation of the author’s vision.

Ethical Considerations

Literary experts often face ethical dilemmas, such as how to handle sensitive content or culturally specific elements that may not resonate with the target audience. Certified translators are guided by a code of ethics that emphasizes the importance of fidelity to the original text, transparency, and respect for both the author and the readers.

These ethical standards ensure that translators make informed decisions about how to handle challenging aspects of the text, balancing the need for accuracy with cultural sensitivity. By adhering to these principles, these professionals uphold the integrity of literary works and foster trust with both authors and readers.

Contribution to Literary Diversity

Certified translators play a vital role in promoting literary diversity, enabling works from different cultures and languages to reach a global audience. As a result of working on literary pieces, they open up new worlds for readers, fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. This contribution to literary diversity enriches the global literary landscape, providing a platform for voices that might otherwise remain unheard.

Find a Literary Translator in Vancouver

The role of certified translators in Vancouver – especially those who specialize in literary materials is indispensable. Their expertise ensures that literary works are accurately and authentically conveyed across languages, preserving the author’s voice, cultural context, and artistic integrity. Through their dedication and skill, these experts make significant contributions to the promotion of literary diversity and cross-cultural understanding.

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How Live Casino Dealers Enhance Your Gaming Experience

In the booming online gaming world, live casino dealers stand out as the bridge between the virtual and the real. They bring the physical casino’s authenticity and excitement to your screen, creating a more immersive and engaging experience. But how exactly do live casino dealers enhance your gaming experience?

From fostering a social atmosphere to increasing trust in online games, these professionals make gaming sessions more enjoyable and genuine.

Real-time Interaction

Real-time interaction revolutionizes the online gaming industry, particularly in live casinos. By leveraging advanced streaming technology, live casino dealers can engage with players just as they would in a traditional casino environment.

This dynamic interaction enhances the gaming experience by fostering a sense of presence and camaraderie. Through chat features and live video feeds, players can communicate with the dealer and even with other participants, creating an immersive and social atmosphere.

The role of the live dealer is crucial, as their real-time responses and professional demeanour elevate the authenticity and enjoyment of the game. This interactive experience makes the games more exciting. It instills greater trust and transparency, replicating the feel of a brick-and-mortar casino from the comfort of home.

Enhanced Trust and Transparency

Trust is essential in online casinos as it dramatically impacts players’ peace of mind. Gamblers look for confidence that their selected platform is dependable, safe, and runs transparently and fairly.

Online casinos build trust and transparency by acquiring proper licensing, offering secure transactions, ensuring fair play, and providing high-quality customer service. Moreover, other online casinos introduce live casino games with live dealers to enhance trust and transparency.

In addition to real-time interactions, live dealers can interact with the players like in brick-and-mortar casinos. Players can ask questions, make comments, and receive immediate responses, fostering a sense of community and reliability.

This interaction mimics the social aspects of land-based casinos, where players can gauge the dealer’s demeanour and professionalism, thus bolstering their confidence in the game’s integrity.

Additionally, live dealer games are often overseen by regulatory bodies and broadcast from high-quality, secured studios, adding another level of accountability. Multiple camera angles and advanced streaming technology ensure every action is visible and transparent, diminishing potential fraud concerns.

Professional and Entertaining Conduct

Professional conduct is the backbone of any successful live casino. Dealers who are well-trained in the game’s rules, adept at handling cards or other gaming equipment, and capable of managing the game flow efficiently create a seamless gaming experience.

They also uphold the principles of fairness and transparency, providing players with peace of mind that the game is being conducted properly.

Beyond professionalism, a dealer’s entertainment ability sets a live casino apart from its online counterparts. Engaging dealers who interact with players, share witty banter, and maintain a lively atmosphere can transform a simple game into a memorable event.

Their charisma and energy help to foster a social environment, encouraging interaction between players and setting the stage for a more immersive experience.

The best live casino dealers master the delicate balance between professionalism and entertainment. They effortlessly shift from explaining complex game rules to keeping the mood light and engaging. This balance ensures players feel respected and entertained, enhancing their satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Varied Game Options

The success of online casinos heavily depends on the calibre and diversity of their game offerings. In the fiercely competitive online gambling industry, casinos must provide a wide range of top-notch games to draw in and keep their players engaged.

One essential reason online casinos need a diverse game selection is to keep players interested and entertained. Another advantage of offering a wide range of games is that it meets players’ diverse preferences. Gamblers have unique tastes, motivations, and gaming styles.

That said, live casino dealers are trained to handle multiple game types, ensuring players enjoy various gaming options.

Their professionalism and capability allow seamless transitions between games, keeping the gaming environment dynamic and engaging. This variety caters to seasoned gamblers seeking depth and strategy and welcomes newcomers eager to explore and learn.

Moreover, live dealers often introduce unique game variants and themed events that you might not find in a traditional online casino. These unique offerings can include everything from high-stakes poker tournaments to themed game nights featuring popular TV shows or movie franchises, enhancing the gaming experience.

Personalized Gaming Experience

Another key benefit of having live casino dealers is the personalized gaming experience they provide. Dealers are trained to cater to each player’s unique preferences and behaviours, making adjustments and offering insights that make each session feel exclusive.

Their friendly demeanour and professional approach ensure that the games run smoothly and that players feel valued and entertained.

Moreover, the live casino setup often includes multiple camera angles and high-definition streaming, ensuring players don’t miss a moment of the action. This level of engagement and transparency boosts player confidence and trust in the game’s fairness, further enriching the overall experience.

Conclusion

Live casino dealers significantly enhance the online gaming experience by bringing authenticity, interaction, trust, and entertainment. With varied game options and the ability for personalization, players can enjoy a casino experience that closely mirrors the excitement of playing in a physical casino.

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