The series of books “Revivim” are a compliation of choice articles with many additions and expansions. Rabbi Melamed deals with relevant topics concerning both the individual and the public at large, in a clear and poignant fashion.
“Revivim” – Marriage, Education, Family and Career
This book deals with questions concerning the individual and his choice of a way of life – marriage and children, education and community – questions which concern the modern, national-religious Jew. “Revivim” sketches the complicated reality of young religious Zionists who are, on the one hand, very idealistic, and at the same time, face many confrontations. Amongst the various topics discussed are the uncertainties of where a student should learn, difficulties in choosing a profession, finding a husband or wife, how much to spend on a wedding, planning one’s family and career, household expenses and ‘ma’aser k’safim’, courses in education and marriage, etc.
Our communities and families are the source of our strength as a nation, and this book, which deals with these important issues, makes a unique and significant contribution to the goal of perfecting the world in the kingdom of God.
Amongst the topics dealt with:
Marriage: the proper age to get married, ways to find one’s wife or husband, and how to overcome difficulties. Exaggerated search for beauty and the hardships of remaining single.
Education: the relationship between religious and secular studies, who is allowed to study in ‘kollel’ and receive ‘tzedaka’, the high tuition in religious institutions, ‘courses’ in education versus individual education according to the personality of the parents.
Family and Career: National service for women – two years, one year, or not at all, the mitzvah of ‘tzedakka’ and the policy of welfare, pre-nuptial agreements, career and family, raising a large family happily, preventing pregnancy, aborting a fetus with a defect, relating to adopted parents, divorce, inheritance, honoring parents versus what psychologists recommend.
“Revivim” – Nation, Land, and Army
The book deals with national and international issues. The major public institutions, such as the government and the Knesset, the army, the media, the police, and the court system are covered. Also, the general atmosphere amongst the Israeli society, relations between the differing sects, and various political struggles are discussed. The book also serves as a chronological document of events, returning the reader to the stormy days of the struggle for the completeness of the Land, and the pain and bereavement, the awesome bravery, self-sacrifice, and faith that came with it. Alongside the victories and accomplishments, the frustrating disappointment after the failure of Gush Katif and northern Shomron, the criticism that followed, lessons learned from the failure and the strength to go out on a new path.
Topics Dealt with in the Book:
Nation: Did we over-exaggerate dealing with the Land of Israel instead of persuading the populace? Is Rabbi Kook’s essay “The Generation” applicable to our generation? How can we speak of Torah and mitzvot in a post-modern era? Is it permissible to lie in court? The media ignores those injured in terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria – should we fight this? Should rabbi’s deal with politics? Did Zionism cause secularization? What benefit is there in nominating an Arab minister? How to stop being ingratiating and start building independence?
Land: What’s more important – the nation of Israel or the Land of Israel? Blocking roads and the close-mindedness of the religious community – what is preferable: demonstrations or education? The heroes of Amona, and the development of a new leadership. The principles of the struggle for the Land. Why are we afraid to say that ‘transfer’ is moral? Should we continue to celebrate Independence Day after the expulsion and destruction of Gush Katif?
Serving in an army that expels Jews; is it true that “we have no one else to lean on except our God in Heaven”; Should one be lenient or stringent while serving in the army, and does a military rabbi have the status of ‘mara d’atra’; how was the War in Lebanon influenced by the failure of the struggle for Gush Katif and northern Shomron; what was missing from the Winograd Report; disobeying orders and the revival of the army.
The Books can be purchased here.