Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. Naomi has written for the Jerusalem Post and other publications in Israel and abroad, as well as to her mailing list, about Israel and Jewish issues.


“The
Naomi's just-published tenth novel The Devil in Jerusalem has been chosen by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as the number one Jewish book of the season.
The story - inspired by true events - begins with an ambulance screaming through Jerusalem’s quiet streets. Inside, a toddler fights for his life, his parents nowhere to be found. With profound shock, an emergency room doctor realizes that the child’s mother, a young American, is already at the hospital sitting at the bedside of yet another child with traumatic injuries, devoutly reciting Psalms and stubbornly refusing to answer any questions. “שטן
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.

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Naomi has published ten 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 tenth novel, The Devil in Jerusalem, 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.


November 2015 - The Jewish Telegraphic Agency puts The Devil in Jerusalem at the top of its list of the best Jewish books of the season.
November 2015 - Naomi lectured in Newton (MA), Boca Raton (FL), Miami (FL), St. Louis (MO), New York City, Atlanta (GA), Cherry Hill (NJ) and Santa Fe (NM).
“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.

Categories

The Color Stupid

The election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi to the presidency of Egypt should have elicited a worldwide shudder of outrage in all peace- and freedom-loving people.

Literature, it seems, is always foremost as a tool in ideological wars. I think of Nazi book burnings and the banning of everything, including the Bible, in Saudi Arabia. I think of my own war with ultra-Orthodox extremists who want to take my books off the shelves because they don’t promote the haredi self-image of a holier-than- thou society. And I have to mention The Color Purple author Alice Walker’s recent decision to ban her own book from being translated into Hebrew as part of her support for the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which was launched in “peace-loving” Ramallah in April 2004 and is adamantly opposed to peace or cultural exchanges.

Walker once famously wrote on her blog: “Jesus, a Palestinian, is still being crucified,” and told interviewer Jesse Rosenfeld that “[Israeli] settlers are the [Klu Klux] Klan.” She was also quoted in The Guardian as saying: “Israel is as frightening to many of us as Germany used to be.” The latter was part of her “Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.”

She never did join the flotilla. And I never did read her book, in any language, but I saw the movie. As I recall, it was all about black men abusing black women, raping their daughters, etc. I’m so happy that this great feminist has decided to channel the fame she’s earned from her strong message into supporting a society in which women are routinely beaten, raped and murdered in honor killings.

Unfortunately, this Pulitzer Prize-winning author is not alone in her delusions. A surprising number of respected writers and journalists are feeding similar delusions and misinformation to millions of people.

What all these hate-promoters seem to have in common is their blatant selectivity in ignoring the history and crimes of the terrorists with whom they loudly align themselves.

Take the election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi to the presidency of Egypt, something which should have elicited a world-wide shudder of outrage in all peace- and freedom-loving people.

Instead, we got this from David D. Kirkpatrick of The New York Times: “After 84 years as a secret society struggling in prisons and shadows of monarchs and dictators, the Brotherhood is now closer than ever to its stated goal of building an Islamist democracy in Egypt.”

Oh my, what a heart grabber! I mean, if I didn’t know anything about the Muslim Brotherhood, I might have thought after reading this that they were founded by Mother Teresa’s brother. They want a “Muslim democracy”? Could have fooled me.

Founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, to promote the implementation of Shari’a (Islamic law), the Brotherhood developed close ties to the Nazis, supporting the terrorist activities of Haj Amin el-Husseini in what was then British Mandate Palestine. Its “charitable activities” included disseminating Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. After a number of bombings and assassination attempts, 32 Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested in 1948 by the Egyptian authorities and by then-prime minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi, who made the mistake of releasing them. Soon after, he was assassinated by a Brotherhood member. But when the Brotherhood tried to kill president Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1954, it seriously overplayed its hand. The organization was outlawed, its members imprisoned and punished, withering away where they could do no harm, behind lock and key.

Anwar Sadat, the peacemaker, who released many Brotherhood members from Egyptian jails, was murdered in 1979 for visiting Israel and signing a peace agreement. While the Brotherhood didn’t take credit for the killing, it was certainly in favor of it. Under Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood spread its influence throughout the country, making use of the political system to put up candidates for Parliament. In 2000, 15 of its candidates were elected. What agenda did they adopt? Fighting displays of un-Islamic cultural diversity, including beauty contests and literature, which in their view promoted blasphemy and unacceptable sexual practices.

According to Raymond Ibrahim, writing on the blog of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Morsi himself ran a frightening campaign based on religious extremism and intimidation. A cleric surrounded by Brotherhood Morsi supporters quoted the Koran saying that all those who didn’t vote for Morsi were “resisters of the Shari’a of Allah,” and “infidel leaders” whom true Muslims must “fight” and subjugate.

Morsi himself is credited with saying he would “achieve the Islamic conquest of Egypt for the second time and make all Christians convert to Islam or pay the jizya [the infidel tax].”

A brochure written by the deputy to the supreme guide, Khairat el-Shater, addressed to all the Brotherhood branches and which carried the logos of both the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, called on Muslims to cheat, block votes, and “resort to any method that can change the vote” to ensure that Morsi would win.

Surprise! He won.

But this doesn’t worry Kirkpatrick, who wrote of the Brotherhood: “They are committed to democratic elections and the peaceful rotation of political power, which usually means moving to the middle.”

Another reporter also conveyed this reaction from that epicenter of liberal delusion these days, the White House: “The Obama administration, expressing relief on Sunday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate will be Egypt’s next president, voiced cautious optimism that the choice could keep the country’s rocky transition to democracy on track.”

As for me, Morsi’s victory sent my mind racing back in time to 1977. I was a young writer back then and a wannabe journalist who somehow finagled a press pass from the Government Press Office in Beit Agron with a letter of authorization from the Intermountain Jewish News of Denver, Colorado, for which I wrote a weekly “View from Jerusalem” column.

And so, in November 1977, I found myself in a red leather coat (which at the time I thought was amazingly cool), walking down through the barriers to a dazzling press center that had been set up to handle the world-wide coverage of the Begin-Sadat press conference.

The following exchange, more or less, is etched in my memory: “President Sadat,” an Israeli journalist asked, “we have seen the photos of Egyptians rejoicing at your initiative to make peace with Israel. But if something happens to you, couldn’t these same crowds just as easily turn against such a peace? And by then, we’ll have given back all of Sinai. How can we in Israel trust that won’t happen?” “The people of Egypt,” answered Sadat, “want this peace agreement. I am expressing the wishes of my people in coming here. It doesn’t matter who the leader of Egypt will be.”

After the revolution in Tahrir Square sparked by the freedom of expression afforded by Facebook, Twitter and the Internet in general, it seemed as though we were all seeing the genuine expression of the will of the people of Egypt demanding less government bureaucracy, corruption and oppression and more freedom to pursue a better life for themselves and their children.

But as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, this public expression of private longings for better jobs, education, housing and food has been hijacked by the pigs of the Muslim Brotherhood. The sane half of the Egyptian public that voted against Morsi has my sympathy. I mourn with them even as The New York Times, the Obama administration, Alice Walker and her ilk have joined hands and are dancing a hora of celebration with the murderous Muslim Brotherhood. We will all pay the price for their stupidity.

This article was published in the Jerusalem Post on 29 June 2012.

Alice Walker’s daughter has written about how her mother’s fanatical views have torn their family apart.

12 comments to The Color Stupid

  • Joy we are agreeing with you, were just not being as eotmional as you are. The Moslems are trying to force the Christians out the same way they forced out most of the Jews, they are then going to increase their global jihad against all non believers.

  • ann

    I agree with most everything you said Naomi. Excepts I don’t agree with your opinion, that Ms. Walker is stupid. If she were stupid,there would be an excuse for her. She is evil, and her views are pure evil. She calls good evil, and evil good,sadly like a lot of the world does today. Most of all the antiIsrael antiJewish hatemongering crowd,who would like another Holocaust to happen to 6 million Jews, only this time in Israel.

  • PATRICIA JONES

    Anwar Sadat – one time terrorist – who realised that the only solution to Egypt’s problems was to create a democracy and engender peace and goodwill towards Israel. Sadly some murderous cretin stopped this…….otherwise things might be very different today.

  • PATRICIA JONES

    Alice walker is not very smart. Jesus was a Jew and there has never been a Country called Palestine.

  • Rabbi Fleishig

    A democracy is not just a country where people get to vote for their leaders. It’s a country in which all people, men and women alike, are equal before the law and where there are no religious tests for public office, where people are free to engage in any and all legal economic activity without having to bribe corrupt politicians and their relatives, and where government’s function is to serve the people rather than the other way around. By this measure there are very few democracies in the world and only one in the Middle East, and it isn’t Egypt.

  • What does creepy, ignorant, stupid walker think of steven spielberg this jewish man who took her awful book and made an awful movie. Is she grateful?

  • Victoire

    Alice Walker is a nasty worm who doesn’t want to recall that good American caucasians, in the hundreds of thousands, laid down their lives during the Civil War to put an end to slavery of black Africans. For this, alone, Alice deserves a slap in the mouth and a good swift kick in her fat rump. If she believes that discriminating against Jews is OK, if she thinks slandering innocent Israelis is a good thing, then discriminating against the likes of Alice Walker and the horse she road in on is perfectly acceptable. Besides, she’s a self-pitying, lousy writer who makes a living by concocting victimhood where none exists.

  • What does Kirkpatrick think an “Islamic Democracy” is? Is there such a country? And just because the word “Democracy” is in a nation’s political description, is no cause for celebration. Remember, Adolf Hitler was democratically elected. As for Obama, he’s a black Muslim. A few weeks ago, in the White House, they took the President’s picture. His feet were up on the desk, with the soles of his shoes pointing towards the camera–an insult in Muslim society. Americans MUST defeat Obama in November; I shudder to think of Israel’s fate if he wins.

  • John Shreffler

    The facebook kids and secular-minded Egyptians did remarkably well, all things considered. After all, how does one get the message out when 90% of the population does not have a computer, and 70% can’t even read or write? I am deeply ashamed that my president supported this bad joke on humanity. The only hope is that the army has learned from Turkey and can stay strong. Good article.

    • What they are doing is making theelmsves a target rich environment with no human shields left. It’s not going to end well for Muslims.And yes I did note that the government official is already talking about a conspiracy. Is it all a conspiracy or does Allah will it?

  • Goldstein

    It wasn’t just her support for the Poooooor palestinians…..there was also some anti-Semitism mixed in there!!!

  • William Horwitz

    When my wife and I were in Cairo in 1992 the Egyptian tour director dropped us off about a 4 blocks away from the Anwar Sadat memorial and told us that if we have to see it we could walk there but to be back before the bus left. We had about 15-20 minutes. We knew then that the peace agreement was in jeopardy and are surprised to this day that it still exists.

    Zy Gesunt.

    Bill