Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. Naomi writes regularly in the Jerusalem Post and to her mailing list about Israel and Jewish issues.


“The
My tenth novel, The Devil in Jerusalem, will be published this coming October, and I will be speaking about it on my November US lecture tour. The story - inspired by true events - begins with two brothers admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital with horrific injuries while their mother, a young American, devoutly recites Psalms at the bedside and refuses to answer any questions. “שטןBrought in to investigate, Detective Bina Tzedek follows a winding path that takes her through Jerusalem’s Old City, kabbalists, mystical ancient texts, and terrifying cult rituals, until she finally uncovers the shocking truth.
The Devil in Jerusalem is a chilling tale of the paths that so easily lead us astray, and the darkness within us all. Click the book’s cover to learn more.


Naomi has previously published nine internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play (Women's Minyan) that has been performed more than 500 times in Israel's National Theatre (Habimah) as well as in the United States and Argentina.
An Orthodox woman, feminist and iconoclast, Naomi is a tireless advocate for women's rights in Israel, waging a relentless campaign against domestic abuse and bias in rabbinical courts, as well as a successful Supreme Court case against gender segregation on Israeli buses.
With her ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, Naomi continues her ground-breaking exploration of women in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world she began in 1989 with Jephte's Daughter, followed by Sotah and The Sacrifice of Tamar.
Naomi is a sought-after lecturer all over the world. If your group is interested in hosting Naomi, please click here.


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“שטןAugust 2015 - Naomi’s new book, שטן בירושלים, a translation of The Devil in Jerusalem, is published.
Le Dixieme Chant8-19 March 2015 - Naomi toured France and Switzerland, speaking to her readers in Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg and Geneva about her new French book, Le Dixieme Chant, a translation of The Tenth Song.
12-20 November 2014 - Naomi lectured at the Windsor Writer’s Conference in Windsor, ON as well as in Detroit, Toronto and Winnipeg.
The Sisters Weiss7 October 2014 - Naomi's ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, was published in paperback. It's the story of two sisters from an ultra-Orthodox family in 1950s Brooklyn who take very different paths, and then find their lives unexpectedly intersecting again forty years later. To order the book from Amazon, click the book cover above.

8-17 August 2014 - Naomi was the scholar-in-residence on Kosherica's Kosher Baltic Cruise aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines Star. The 9 night cruise visited Copenhagen, Rostock, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm.

Salone Internazionale del Libro 8-9 May 2014 - Naomi took part in a panel discussion on women in Israel, together with Fiamma Nirenstein and Elena Loewenthal, at the Salone Internazionale del Libro 2014 in Turin, Italy.

December 2013 - Watch an interview (in French) with Naomi about her struggle against the haredi war on women in Israel.
Watch an interview (in French) with Naomi about Le Serment.


December 2013 - Naomi visited Île-de-France to promote her new book Le serment (the French translation of The Covenant).


Sotah 15 March 2012 - Sotah was published in Italian as L'amora proibito. Read a review (in Italian).

Jephte's Daughter March 2012 - Jephte's Daughter was published in an Italian paperback edition, as Una moglie a Gerusalemme.

Le Fantôme de Dona Gracia Mendes October 2011 - The Ghost of Hannah Mendes was published in French as Le Fantôme de Dona Gracia Mendes. Read a review (in French).

The Tenth Song October 2011 - The Tenth Song was published in paperback.

May 2011 - Four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh directed a staged reading of Women's Minyan at New York's Westside Theater. The reading was produced by One Circle Productions, in partnership with Safe Horizon.

Watch the reading. Watch an interview with Naomi and Tovah Feldshuh.

Le serment November 2013 - The Covenant was published in French as Le serment.

November 2013 - Watch an interview with Naomi by Sharon Mor of Shaulina Productions about Naomi's new book The Sisters Weiss in Hebrew or in English.

6 November 2013 - Israel's Supreme Court reversed the District Court's decision against Naomi in the Shapiro case and ordered Shapiro to return the money she was awarded. Naomi agreed that the money be donated to charity.
October-November 2013 - Naomi toured the US, visiting twelve US cities and speaking about her new book, The Sisters Weiss.
The Sisters Weiss October 2013 - Naomi's ninth novel, The Sisters Weiss, was published. Read an article about it in the San Diego Jewish World.
Chains Around the Grass August 2013 - Chains Around the Grass was published in an Amazon Kindle edition.
July 2013 - An interview with Naomi about her trips to Spain to research her best-selling The Ghost of Hannah Mendes was featured in Jewish Travel.
December 2012 - Naomi's play Women's Minyan was performed by the West Boca Theatre Company at the Levis JCC in Boca Raton, Florida.
November 2012 - Naomi visited Île-de-France speaking about her books.
5 November 2012 - Naomi spoke at the Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue in London, England.

Israeli Mother Vanquishes Knife-Wielding Terrorist Scum

When Yael Matzpon heard the door open at 3:30 AM,  she thought it was her husband returning from his job in the IDF. But when the door flung open and the light flicked on, she found herself face to face with a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist from Gaza. Lying next to her in bed were her four and half year-old daughter and two year-old son.  In a room close by, her  eight and nine year-old daughters lay sleeping.

“‘What do you want, I asked him.  Money, food?’ I got up. He told me to get down on the floor. I knew I wasn’t doing that.”

And so began a fight to the death between an unarmed 39 year-old mother of four and an armed terrorist in Sde Avraham, a moshav in southern Israel’s Eshkol region near Gaza; a mother who knew that only she stood between him and the slaughter of her innocent children.  “He pushed me down and started to slash me,” she told Israel’s evening news.  “And I thought: ‘Now I’m going to feel what it’s like to be slashed, just like you see on television.'”  As she speaks, we notice the long scar on her cheekbone, the tear in her skin under her eye and on her chin, evidence of the deadly weapon which sought to take away her life and the lives of her children.

Yael, an Olympic-level horse trainer in dressage, who learned kravmagah during her army service, didn’t panic. Instead, she threw everything she had at him, punching him in the face and eyes and nose, scratching and jabbing him — not as if, but because — her life, and the lives of her children depended on it. He began to throw things at her, a mirror, a scale, but missed. She took the moment to lead her small children to safety, sending her daughter to her sisters, and putting her little boy into the bomb shelter and locking the door. She picked up a large heavy metal bell,  used to start horse competitions, and used it to pummel him out of the room and into the adjoining shower. She then locked and barricaded the door, flying to the kitchen to call her husband and a neighbor who was a sharpshooter.

Probably realizing he had stumbled on a tigress he couldn’t overcome, the terrorist jumped out of the window and ran.  He was soon spotted and shot by the IDF, which although it responded with lightning speed, had allowed the terrorist to infiltrate in the first place. Ynet has revealed that a section of the security fence guarding neighborhoods close to Gaza was left open and unmanned, allowing the terrorist free access. New “agreements” with Gaza now allow Palestinians to work the fields right up to the security fence. Such is the decision of our politicians.

If not for the courage, strength, and level-headedness of  this Israeli woman, the photos of Jewish children butchered in their beds would be splashed across the Israeli papers instead of the photos of campaigning politicians. Only Maariv put Yael and her heroic battle on its front page. Yediot Aharonot put it on page 25. As for the foreign press, I didn’t read a single word about how an unarmed mother fought off a knife-wielding terrorist to save herself and her children. And what could be more newsworthy than that? Except, of course, if your paper  doesn’t really rejoice in such a victory and would rather print the blood. I have two words for the foreign press, and they aren’t “happy birthday.”

G-d bless Yael Ram-Matzpon and all our Israeli women, mothers and soldiers, who are sometimes forced to be both at the same time in order to protect themselves and their children with bare hands, from marauding, barbaric terrorist murderers who seek out babies in their beds. This time, though, the murderer got more than he bargained for.

 

12 comments to Israeli Mother Vanquishes Knife-Wielding Terrorist Scum

  • Rob Pliskin

    I met Yael at a training in November 2013 at her equestrian arena. She is a remarkable person, and mother. The difficulty with these violent acts, besides the blood and mayhem that they cause in the present, is that often the trauma continues into the future. It happens to individuals, and to whole peoples, on either side of a border. This terrorist needed hunted down, no matter his intention, or the address on his identification card. It is still my belief that peace needs hunted down too. Just as this trauma lives on until healed, I pray that so can peace, when it is healed. I pray that somehow, this is the border that will be crossed, the border from trauma to peace. The prayers are to sanctify G-d, and to make ourselves ready in G-d’s sight. Because the challenge, as we were told long ago, is up to us.

  • Janice

    Shoshana, Mr. Goldstein is being ironic.

  • shoshana rotter

    Hey…Hey…Hey, Mr. Goldstein, you’re so blind to the situation, I wish the terrorist will knock next on your door.

  • truth seeker

    ive never read such a fake story in my life .. I believe in dragons more than this trash

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  • Katie H

    This would probably be headlined by the NYT as “Israeli settler refuses food to starving Palestinian, casting further doubt on Israeli commitment to peace.” Probably adding that the Palestinian brought his own knife to cut the bread produced from wheat and water stolen from his poor battered people.

  • Herman S Marmon

    When will the world wake and realize that end of this Jewish Muslim war will end when all the Jews of the world or all the Muslims of the world are DEAD! Nothing else will do it.

  • Goldstein

    Once again 3 Israeli’s (a momma and two babies} attack and kill a poor impoverished palestinian who mistakenly opened the wrong door and accidentally slashed her face with a butchers knife!!!

    What kind of people are these Zionists????!!!

  • Sonya

    Amazing story! and the foreign press should be ashamed of themselves.

  • […] a terrible fate. To read the full details of this incredible story, visit author Naomi Ragen's website. Published Friday, November 30, 2012 12:13 PM by Cindy Stys Filed under: Israeli dressage trainer, […]

  • isaac

    I’m sure if this story actually got any media attention, it would have been headlined, “Woman retaliates against Palestinian; uses disproportionate force”