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'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 - is a chilling tale of the paths that so easily lead us astray, and the darkness within us all. “שטן
Click the book’s cover to learn more.

Watch Valérie Abécasis' interview with Naomi on French Channel 24's Culture program. The interview (in French) begins at the 4:00 minute mark.

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.

Nic Nie MówMay 2017 – The Polish translation of Devil in Jerusalem is published as Nic Nie Mów.

April 2017 – Naomi speaks about her books at the Ivan M. Stettenham Library at the Streicker Centre in New York City.

March 2017 – Naomi tours the Paris region to speak about her new book Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss.

January 2017 – Naomi is interviewed by Valérie Abécasis on French Channel 24‘s Culture program. The interview (in French) begins at the 4:00 minute mark.

“LesDecember 2016Les Soeurs Weiss, the French translation of The Sisters Weiss, is published.

October 2016The 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 Sarah 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.


Passover in the Holy Land

You know that Passover is coming when the Arab workers in the supermarket start cleaning up the crumbs from the bread aisle, and marking the shelves “Hametz.” You can see the special matzo lining the shelves: Organic whole wheat, wheat bran, egg, chocolate-covered.

People take this holiday very seriously here in Israel. Everyone is buying gifts for their Seder evening hosts. Or they are stocking up on food for the groups that will descend on them to be hosted.

And although forty rockets were fired from Gaza (gee, that unilateral pull-out was such a brilliant move, saving so many lives…) people don’t seem worried, or even vaguely concerned, except of course, if you were one of the workers in that mattress factory in Ashkelon which took a direct hit, sending at least one person to the hospital. As our friends in Reuters wrote: “The makeshift rockets fall harmlessly into Israel.” Thanks, Reuters for putting all our fears into perspective! I hope one of your reporters doesn’t happen to be standing in a spot where that amateurish little bomb falls, because despite the lack of professionalism, he might actually find himself unprofessionally beheaded! But hey, that’s unlikely.

Reuters doesn’t usually send its reporters to places where they are likely to actually witness any news first-hand. They have their “sources” in “Palestine” call them on their cell-phones. I say this all allegedly, of course. Don’t believe me if you don’t want to.

This morning I heard the sound of jets roar overhead – a sure sign that the nation is in defense mode. I read that air strikes had targeted terrorists returning from “training camp for freedom fighters” in Gaza, with their “Everything you need to know about firing missiles at civilians” manual.

A few were killed, along with the child or children of a “freedom fighter” who brought along the tots to participate in the fun and games. What a lovely parent!

My son got a week off from the army, and now he has to go back. He doesn’t know if they’ll let him out for the Seder. Given the security situation, and the fact that his unit will no doubt be on full alert, I doubt it. I’ll miss him. He’s still my baby, whatever his commanding officer thinks.

I guess I’ll have to ask the Four Questions, as I’ll be the youngest.

I have a few more than four to ask, though. As I was cleaning for Passover, I came across an unopened envelope that I guess I set aside until after the elections. It was from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs ( It was called: “Defensible Borders, A Fundamental Necessity for Israeli Security.” Only in Israel would one need to actually research such an obvious statement. In it, I learned a few things I didn’t know.

A Kassam II rocket has a range of 6-7 kilometers. A Katyusha has a range of 22 kilometers. This means, that if Ehud Olmert and his merry band of losers have their way, and Israel pulls back to the ’67 borders, rockets from Hebron will be able to hit Beersheba and Kiryat Gat; rockets from Bethlehem will be able to hit Jerusalem; rockets from Bodrus will be in range of Ben Gurion Airport. Rockets from Rantis can hit Tel Aviv. Rockets from Qalkilya can hit Kfar Saba; rockets from Tulkarem can hit Netanya; rockets from Jenin can hit Afula and Nazareth. By the way, there are.04 kilometers separating Jerusalem from Bethlehem, and .07 kilometers separating Qalkilya (home of the Hamas terrorist who blew up the Park Hotel in Netanya on Seder night) from Kfar Saba.

As General John Foss, former commander of the 82nd airborne division of the U.S. Armed Forces once said: “As a military man I have to say that the ’67 borders are not defensible in the long term. The State of Israel absolutely cannot exist within these borders.”

But who cares? Israel’s leaders are on their merry way, led by people who wrote books like: The New Middle East, just before the entire world was engulfed by the primitive barbarism of the old Middle East. They were just re-elected by the Israeli public to serve yet another term in office after their brilliant success in their last term.

And the average person, like me, who isn’t an idiot, who packs off her son in his uniform knowing all that I know, and having no way to influence events except to type away and publish the facts, alerting those few who actually give a damn what is really going on here, how do we go on?

We go on because we remember who we are, and the precarious state of our people and our nation that has survived and triumphed so many times over innumerable odds in the past.

We go on because we remember that in the blink of an eye, we can have salvation come our way, not through the normal channels, because if that were true, we’d have been extinct a few thousand years ago. We go on, because we need to make a Seder this Wednesday night, and our sons and daughters and grandchildren will be joining us. And if we’re lucky, our soldier sons as well. We will drink our wine, and dip our herbs in the salty water of tears, remembering how we called out to our God in Egypt and how He brought down the plagues on the houses of our enemies, and brought us to the Promised Land. And even though we went through the desert kicking and screaming – we didn’t like the food (we want meat, not manna! Oh, those watermelons we ate in Egypt!), building a Golden Calf, and challenging our wonderful leader, Moses, still God kept His promise. Willy, nilly, He brought us home.

And when I say: “Next Year in Jerusalem,” unlike most Jews in the world, I will know that I am already there, and that it is a dream come true. I hope that your “Next Year in Jerusalem” will also be a dream that comes true, and that next year we will truly be free of fear, and want, and stupidity.

God bless you all, and a happy holiday.

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