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

You’ve Won, Mr. Sharon, I’m Disengaged

I’m watching the news on television. The screen is filled with a major Israeli security operation. Seven hundred police are involved, with major military backup. Could it be, perhaps, an attack on Hezbollah, which just sent three terrorists to infiltrate Israel, and attacked Har Dov with artillery fire, killing a 20 year old soldier from Beersheva?

No, they are involved in clearing out a bunch of teenagers from an abandoned hotel in Gush Katif!

There are ten soldiers and policemen for every kid. I see them dragging the children by their legs. I see them putting a young girl in a head hold. It takes them twenty minutes, tops, to empty the “right-wing extremist stronghold.”

And this is how I feel: Disengaged, in the real sense of the word, not Mr. Sharon’s spin. I feel detached, withdrawn, my ties and obligations severed.

Who are these people who are running my country? I didn’t elect them. I voted for those who promised to support Gush Katif, to fight terrorism. I sent my son to the army to shoulder arms and risk his young life to protect his people, not drag them kicking and screaming out of their homes. Not to mount a little war against a bunch of miserable teenagers.

Of course, you’d never know this listening to the Israeli media, who have joined forces with European and Palestinian spin doctors to foster anti-Israel propaganda. How many times did I hear the newscaster showing this shameful footage call these kids : “Men of the Right.” Men? I didn’t see any men. I saw fifteen year-olds, confused and unhappy and hyper.

Now why should that be? I mean, the fact that their government gave out guns to terrorists after signing worthless agreements with them couldn’t be a factor, could it? Or the fact that they sat and had bombs thrown at them for four years, while their government was “negotiating.” It couldn’t be seeing their friends, neighbors, parents, teachers and Rabbis gunned down or blown up in cold blood by their Palestinian neighbors, could it? Or the fact that they are about to lose their homes and have their synagogues, schools and even cemeteries bulldozed? I mean, that’s no excuse for sitting on the roads and blocking complacent Tel Aviv home-owners trying to get to their television sets and humus.

No, they must be “dangerous criminals who will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Bad seeds, “men of the right,” violent fanatics who deserve and who will receive, no doubt, long jail terms if Mr. Sharon and his forces get their hands on them.

I saw one of them throw a rock and injure a Palestinian, which was disgusting. This incident is now being denounced as a “lynch” (Lynch? You mean like the two Israeli reservists who were beaten to death by a Palestinian mob, who dipped their hands in the blood? That kind of lynch?)

Let’s kill the kids, why don’t we? After all, they are worse than terrorists aren’t they, with their “lynch” and their desperate, annoying attempts to wake up their fellow citizens, keeping them in traffic jams in hot days. Or like the soldier who cried out: “This is wrong!” during an operation to drag the kids bodily into waiting vans. He was given the maximum jail sentence. Not for refusing orders, mind you. For expressing his feelings. Let’s string him up, too.

Disengagement: To detach oneself. Free oneself from an obligation or pledge. To withdraw. I guess that’s how I feel about my government and the Israeli news media today.

I’m disengaged. I think I speak for many.

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