Photo: Shalom Bar Tal
Naomi Ragen
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal

Author Naomi Ragen appeals plagiarism conviction

Novelist who was convicted of copyright infringement appeals ruling that found her guilty of plagiarizing sections of Sarah Shabiro's book

Author Naomi Ragen has appealed a ruling that found her guilty of plagiarizing content in her 1992 book Sotah.


Ragen is an American-born novelist famous for tackling controversial issues facing the ultra-Orthodox community. A dual US-Israeli citizen, she has lived in Israel since 1971.


In 2011, a Jerusalem court ruling found her guilty of copying sections of a book by Sarah Shapiro.

Shapiro, an ultra-Orthodox author who writes in English to haredi women, published the book "Growing with My Children: A Jewish Mother's Diary" in 1990. The book is a diary Shapiro wrote as a young, tired and inexperienced haredi mother.


Both books describe a woman's fear that she may be pregnant again shortly after giving birth and her hopes that the exhaustion and nausea are the result of stomach virus. Both books then include a dialogue on anger and the ability to change this trait in one's personality.


Ragen says she only took "certain ideas and information" from Shapiro's book to better inform her own fiction.


During her trial, Ragen claimed that it was all a mistake and that some of Shapiro's text "got stuck in my head". But the judge rejected her explanation, calling it "unreasonable and unreliable".


Ragen admitted to the court that she did read "Growing with My Children" around the time she wrote her own book. She even sent Shapiro a letter at the time, in which she said she enjoyed reading the book and complimenting Shapiro on her "huge talent".


Ragen's case will now go to the Israeli Supreme Court for a final decision.


Ragen told The Associated Press Thursday the charges against her were "absolutely ridiculous." She said the ruling could set a dangerous precedent and "prevent creativity" in Israel.


Akiva Novick contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.05.12, 13:53
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