If you decided to fix up your house, you'd call an architect and a contractor, a plumber and an electrician. You'd have meetings and start the renovation process with great anticipation. And you'd be so thrilled with the outcome, that you'd invite friends over for a l'chaim.
But if you weren't sure whether the deed to your house is really sound, and if the house actually belonged to you, you'd possibly start the plans, keep them on top of your desk or in your drawer and call your spouse a thousand times, "Do you think we should really do this?? What if the house is NOT really ours?"
Well, Israel announced two different plans in the past few days to fix up its house. Every country spruces up its special places once in a while. This is no different.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat HaMachpelah) and the burial place of our Matriarch Rachel (Kever Rachel) would be all shined up. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that Gan HaMelech (one of the most deeply-rooted Jewish areas in Jerusalem) will be totally renovated. Right now Gan HaMelech in the bottom of the Silwan Valley - Ir David - has about 88 illegally built Arab homes in it. It's a shanty town.
Barkat wants to tear down those homes, and instead of tossing the illegally squatting families in the street, he actually wants to give them brand new apartments in Gan HaMelech.
And he wants to make Gan HaMelech into a beautiful place with stores and restaurants and a national park.
So what of these two plans?
Well, the world is an uproar. How dear PM Netanyahu talk of preserving Me'arat HaMachpela and Kever Rachel? How dare Mayor Barkat want to destroy decrepid buildings and construct a beautiful neighborhood in its place?
The world is at its shouting best.
The Prime Minister and the Mayor have backed down. Or they've put the plans on top of their desk, or perhaps inside the top drawer.
The tragedy of the situation must be that they're not sure if the house is really theirs, if the deed is good.
If the Prime Minister of the State of Israel is not sure if the deed to his land is good, there's much more to lose than the status of two burial sites. Further, if the Mayor is not sure that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people, then no political speeches about a United Jerusalem have any meaning either.
Woe to a country whose very leaders are not sure whose country it is!