Realness. Authenticity. Sincerity.

Are these all lost qualities in our day and age?

As you look around you, do you ever feel that our world is full of such hypocrisy, such pretense, such phoniness that it seeps into every facet of our lives?

Our sages call our world alma deshikra, a world full of falsehood, where the true perspective and value is often upside down.

Our political leaders reek of it. And unfortunately, often enough, even spiritual, religious or moral leaders don’t fare much better.

How often are those very same people who espouse such high values and morals exposed for their own downright unethical behaviour? Spiritual and religious mentors teaching lofty concepts such as kindness, humility and transcendence are in their own day-to-day lives, behind the glare of the limelight, found to have the greatest, thirstiest egos.

So is there anyone out there who is really real?

Of course, there are the exceptions—some great leaders and spiritual mentors who lead sterling lives of goodness, humility and kindness. But still, the grand picture that emerges for the most part is quite unpretty. In fact, I think some of the kindest and most sincere people I’ve ever met—the ones who I’d consider really “real”—were the simplest, least sophisticated types who weren’t out to prove themselves to anyone. They weren’t seeking a communal reputation as a “do gooder” nor the most social ballots for leadership. They didn’t need to prove themselves as “religiously” moral and exacting or adhering to the law. They were just simply nice, kind, honest people seeking to do what’s right, largely unrecognized for their simple greatness.

I’m often asked with all the hypocrisy in our world, with all these spiritual people acting so unspiritual, with all these unkind acts done in the name of religion, in such a climate, how does one remain "religious”? Doesn’t it ever turn you off from “religion”?

It can.

Or it can turn you on to “real religion.”

Precisely in moments when I feel such a bankruptcy of leadership, such a deficiency in truth and realism, does it make me personally want to bypass this whole façade, the whole pretense and cut to the core.

To the Reality beyond it all.

This has all been predicted long ago by our sages (Tractate Sotah): “In the time period before Moshiach arrives, there will be no one on whom to rely, other than our Father in heaven.” And (Sanhedrin): “Moshiach will not arrive until there will be no leaders in Israel.”

Surrounded by falseness, living in a world of corruption and untruth—perhaps there is really only one place to turn to seek the inherent truth of all existence.

The Creator of all Reality. And the only true Reality.

Real Realness.