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.

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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.



Naomi's 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.


Join Naomi in New York at the Skirball Center's Meet the Author Evening on April 25, 2017 at 6:30PM.





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.


“LesDecember 2016 - Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss, is published.
October 2016 - The Devil in Jerusalem is published in paperback.
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

Who Is the Enemy?

I have not been able to recover from the terrorist attack in Beslan.

Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a tactic of the enemy. Who, then, is the enemy that fights all those who identify with the civilized world – the world in which children and their mothers are cherished and protected, even in war? The world in which school buildings, and ambulances, and hospitals, and holy places are respected and left out of armed conflicts as neutral zones? The world in which children are taught to love thy neighbor, even if he is different and follows another religion? A world in which there can be no excuse for wiring a school building with explosives, starving children and shooting them and their mothers in the back when they cry, and finally blowing up the roof over their heads, burying hundreds in rubble?

The enemy is the man who shot Tali Hatuel when she was nine months pregnant and then shot her four little girls in the head at point blank range. The enemy is the man who blew up elderly Holocaust survivors at their Passover Seder in Netanya. The enemy is the man who blew up the nightclub in Bali, who laid the bombs on the train tracks in Madrid. The enemy is the political framework that train this man and rewarded him.

The enemy is the country or countries that financed the political framework. The enemy is the leader of these countries. The enemy is the religious leaders of these countries, who did not teach their people right from wrong. The enemy is the congregations who sat through the hate-mongering sermons. The enemy is the head of the family who went home and beat his wife, and strapped suicide belts on his sons, and slit the throats of his daughter and sister for supposed violations of the family honor. The enemy is the child who grows up in such a culture and becomes one of its perpetrators.

The enemy is the Western nations who turn a blind eye, looking to excuse this behavior so it will not have to do anything about it. The Sunday Telegraph, Le Monde, Neue Zuricher Zeitung, Bild, all claiming the problem is that the Russian government has brought this on itself by angering the Chechens. It is the victim who is to blame. Just as Israelis deserve what they get. Tali Hatuel deserved what she got. Her little girls. The little children of Beslan. The only way to stop the murderers of children from murdering is to give into their demands, these newspapers claim. []

I disagree. The only way to stop murderers from murdering is to destroy them.

And if you say this is impossible, I say: think back sixty years. The Thousand Year Reich is the dust of history. We destroyed their leaders, their governments, their buildings, their youth movements, their philosophy. We destroyed it all. We didn’t negotiate. We didn’t appease. We didn’t try to show them our softer side. We uprooted the evil from mankind, because no negotiations, no fence, no signed agreement, no borders, no words were effective against them.

Long before September 11, I wrote to this list: If an Israeli grandmother and her grandchild are not safe in a playground, than no grandmother and no grandchild anywhere in the world is safe in a playground.

If the children of Beslan were not safe in their school, then no child and no school is safe anywhere in the world. Until this enemy is destroyed root and branch, without mercy or equivocation.

The breakdown in morality which we witness everyday is finally engulfing us. Those in the Western news media who call armed terrorists, men who wire schools with explosives and murder women and children, “hostage-takers” and “militants” are setting themselves up to mourn their own children.

A generation ago, fifty million people died because the reaction of their governments and their religious leaders and their press came too late. The Neville Chamberlains saw to that. Too late. And for us – who have our Shimon Peres-es, and our Yossi Beilins, and our Chiracs, and our Kofi Anans, and Michael Moores and John Kerrys – will it also be too late?

For the children of Beslan, the answer is yes. And for your children?

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