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Pastor Rudy Fidel has had an unabiding love for Jews and Israel for over 40 years

Rudy FidelBy BERNIE BELLAN In formulating ideas for writing this particular article I spent a considerable amount of time reading materials pertaining to Christian Zionism. I admit that I am still more than a little confused when I hear devout Christians refer to their belief in “Hashem,” using the same term as one would expect to hear from someone who is Jewish.

Yet, as I read more about the long history of Christian Zionism and its various permutations I can more easily understand how someone can claim to be both a devout Christian and an ardent Zionist. 

But, when you hear someone like Pastor Rudy Fidel expound upon his love for Israel, as he did to at a recent meeting of the Remis Lecture Group at the Gwen Secter Centre on October 20th, well – trying to understand Fidel’s religious orientation is no easy task.

Fidel’s love for Israel is obvious; as of the time of writing he has been to Israel 23 times, beginning in 1986. As pastor of Faith Temple for the past 40 years he has been consistent and steadfast not only in promoting support for Israel, his devotion has led to others in his church contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Israel.

During his talk at the Gwen Secter Centre Fidel referred to one particular couple that belongs to Faith Temple (although without divulging their names) who have purchased an astounding five ambulances for Magen David Adom, on top of which they have contributed $100,000 for Holocaust survivors.

But, when it comes to explaining what has led Fidel to harbour such a deep love for Israel and a general affinity for Jews, well, it’s not easy obtaining an answer from him for that.

In material found on the Christian Friends of Israel website, it’s noted that Fidel was mentored by Dr. Ingrid Bergner when she was Fidel’s predecessor as pastor of Faith Temple. According to the website, “Dr. Bergner visited Israel in 1967, just two weeks before the Six Day War and returned seared with a passion for this holy land…It was Bergner who mentored  Rudy through his long years at Faith Temple…But he not only undertook the leadership of the church – he undertook the mantle of leading groups to Israel.”

The Six Day War, it has been observed, was not only pivotal in awakening a much closer interest and affection for Israel among many Jews, it also led to much stronger support among many branches of Protestant Christianity. For many Evangelical Christians, Israel’s lighting victory in that war was a sign that the fulfillment of the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah was at hand.

Rudy Fidel, however, simply dispenses with any talk of the return of the Messiah. Something he said to his audience at Gwen Secter when he spoke – and which I’m sure came as quite the surprise to almost everyone who was there, is that there is not a single cross on display at Faith Temple.

For that matter, if you had walked into the room not knowing that Fidel is a Christian pastor, there is almost nothing in what he said that would have made you think he is anything but Jewish.

“The only agenda I have is to love Israel,” he said. “I love Judaism.”

In 1983, Fidel said, “when I made a personal commitment to God, I went to a travel agent and got a bunch of brochures about Israel.” As was noted, that was the start not only of Fidel going to Israel as the leader of many different tour groups, it also led to him bringing other Christian pastors to Israel so that they, too, would be encouraged to bring their parishioners to Israel.

Fidel referred in particular to the example of Reverend Raymond Maclean, a Native pastor who has been to Israel an incredible 32 times.

Continuing in the vein of his admiration of the Jewish people, Fidel went on to say that his “favourite character in the Bible is Jacob. I see him in Larry Vickar, in Earl Barish, and in Alan Yusim (who was a former director of B’nai Brith Midwest Region in Winnipeg).”

It was Alan Yusim who asked Fidel to participate in B’nai Brith’s annual Holocaust week event, “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” when various individuals are invited to read out loud the names of individuals who perished in the Holocaust at a ceremony held at the Manitoba Legislature.

Fidel said he was deeply touched by that invitation, which came in 2003. He observed that the night before the ceremony, when he was practicing reading the names of those Holocaust victims so that he would not stumble over their pronunciation, he had what he described as an “epiphany.”

Developing close relationships with Jewish organizations and leaders of those organizations, such as Alan Yuism, has been key to what Rudy Fidel has strived to accomplish, he explained. He spoke particularly fondly of the friendship he and his wife, Gina, have maintained over the years with Larry and Tove Vickar, noting that friendship originated way back when a young Tove Vickar, recently arrived here from Israel, was studying English for the first time and Gina was her teacher.

Fidel observed that Larry Vickar has been generous in his support for a multitude of causes, going so far as helping “to build homes in the Philippines. He puts his heart into everything he does,” Fidel said.

So, if the Six Day War was a pivotal event for Dr. Ingrid Bergner who, in turn, imbued Rudy Fidel with an ongoing devotion to Israel, it was his later encounters with Holocaust survivors that led to another facet of his love for Jews.

In 2005, Fidel said, he was part of a March of the Living tour to Poland and Israel. When he was at Auschwitz he met a survivor by the name of Felix Opatowski, who had been an inmate in Auschwitz. Opatowski was actually a part of the group that planned on blowing up one of the crematoria at Auschwitz (until the SS learned of the plot) and, even though he was severely tortured (with all his fingernails pulled out, along with the loss of an eye and hearing in one ear), he managed to survive.

According to Fidel, Opatowski said that  the “ground at Auschwitz is as holy as Eretz Yisrael ,” which didn’t go over well with Israeli authorities. But meeting Opatowski was another life-changing moment for Fidel, he explained, and one that led him on a path devoted to helping Holocaust survivors. He noted that there are still 150,000 Holocaust survivors alive in the world today and, working with an organization known as “Emunah,” which is devoted to helping survivors, Fidel has raised over $20,000 for the cause.

Not only has Fidel played a significant role in helping Holocaust survivors, he’s also long been active in helping Jews in Ukraine and in Cuba. (He noted that he’s been to Cuba eight different times, where he’s helped to forge ties with the Cuban Jewish community.)

But, after he concluded his talk, Fidel was challenged  by audience members with some questions that elicited some evasive answers which might lead one to wonder just what motivates Rudy Fidel’s deep love for Jews.

One question that seemed to catch him off guard was: “Where does Jesus Christ come in?”

Fidel begged off answering, saying, “I’d rather not talk about that. Maybe it was my passion 40 years ago, but it isn’t any more.”

Another audience member, alluding to an observation Fidel had made earlier that over 150 different individuals whose last name was Fidel are recorded at Yad Vashem as having died in the Holocaust, asked whether Fidel had ever taken “a DNA test” to try and determine whether he actually had Jewish ancestry himself.

Fidel answered that he hadn’t, but it was certainly an interesting idea.

Finally, someone else asked him “Are all your congregants pro Israel?”

Fidel answered, “Most of them.”

Quite the interesting fellow – that Rudy Fidel. It’s not the first time we’ve written about him in an article for this paper, but like many other Christians who harbour a deep love for Israel and Jews in general, we certainly appreciate all that he’s done over the years to strengthen ties between Christians and Jews.

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What is the current status of iGaming in Alberta? Everything you need to know about its current state

Canadian provinces are slowly moving towards the idea that regulating iGaming can be good on several key measures. The first and most obvious one is that it helps to expand the tax base on a provincial and national scale.

Ontario became the first province to introduce a lucid and modernized updated online gambling legislation two years ago. While the powers that be in Alberta were initially skeptical about following Ontario’s footsteps so quickly, it appears that the legislators and those who make the key decisions about the future of iGaming within the province are now aware of the benefits that an Alberta online casino brings to the table.

The idea of driving it underground and keeping it under the watchful eye of dated legislation is not always the best modern approach to any market – and as digital casinos start to dominate the business, legislators are warming to the new landscape, updating their legislation accordingly.


Sports betting and casino gaming – the iGaming umbrella

Online gambling is viewed as a suitable vice for millions of Canadians, and although its legality varies significantly from province to province, there’s an intrinsic, hard-wired drive within the human condition that has us seeking out gambling in many forms.

The term iGaming is an all-encompassing term that covers sports betting markets and digital casino gaming. These two markets are treated as separate gambling entities across many regions, and while legislating both is usually the prime consideration, especially for modern legislation, it’s essential to recognize the distinction between the two and the fact they appeal to different types of gamblers.

Albertans can place bets on sports and casino games. They also benefit from some of the most modern legislation in the world, which covers all types of platforms and devices, ranging from traditional PC-style gaming to more modern devices such as iPads and other tablets.

Digital devices now spearhead our lives. It’s not just casino gaming; it’s shopping, checking out local news, or any of a dozen other activities we participate in each week – iGaming is just one industry that picked up on this curve a lot earlier than others.

While Canada might not have embraced the growing casino gaming and sports betting culture that was rising in the UK and Europe in the 2000s and more recently in the US, this switch toward legalizing gambling in Alberta for its millions of eligible residents is a step closer to having policies and gambling statuses that mirror many of those states north of the border.


Gambling in Alberta in 2024

As with almost every other country or gambling jurisdiction on the planet, the sports betting markets follow the country’s most popular sports. Gambling in the US, for instance, is dominated by NFL betting markets, with a lesser emphasis on basketball, baseball, and ice hockey.

Online gambling has become so prevalent in the US that it simply made sense for the state to regulate it properly and benefit from the multibillion-dollar tax base it provides. However, more robust and diverse economies like California still resist the urge to legalize gambling, given that they already generate billions of dollars of tax revenue from global tech colossuses such as Apple and Nvidia.

Alberta doesn’t have this luxury – and there will always be people looking to gamble, regardless of the state’s legality. The size of the black market in the US shows that it’s often a better idea to bring in laws to quell the rise of black markets and introduce legislation that helps companies run fair practices and businesses within provincial lines.


Summary

Alberta has become the latest province to warm to the idea, and it certainly won’t be the last. There seems to be a growing movement from provinces in Canada, states in the US, and prominent gambling platforms to promote the need for creating legislative clarity and a fair market for those looking to place sports bets or play a few casino games online.

The current status is clear, and while many other countries, provinces, and states have ambiguous approaches to gambling legislation, iGaming in Alberta is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for people to place their wagers.

It doesn’t matter if they’re looking to place a bet on NHL games or have a flutter at the roulette table; the new legislation has enabled many Albertans to do so from the quiet of their own home, and the province is more than happy to see the increase in its tax base as a result.

As we know, this dynamic can sometimes change quickly. Still, given that such comprehensive changes and detailed legislation have only just been ratified, it’s safe to say that Alberta will stick to its recent changes for at least the next few years.

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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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