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It is not an easy thing for an Orthodox Jewish girl to be saddled with the name of a gentile temptress responsible for destroying a famous Jewish hero. When Delilah’s father filled in her name in the Hebrew Academy day school application form, the rabbi/administrator assumed it was a mistake, a feeble attempt on the part of some clueless, nonreligious Jew to find a Hebrew equivalent for Delia, or Dorothy. “You are aware, Mr. Goldgrab, that in the Bible, Delilah seduced Samson and is considered a wicked whore by our sages?” he pointed out as gently as he could.
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Naomi Ragen is the author of novels including The Tenth Song, The Sacrifice of Tamar, Sotah, and The Covenant. Her books are international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. Ragen attended Brooklyn College and earned her master’s in English from Hebrew University. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel.