In 2016 the Oxford English Dictionary chose the phrase “fake news” as its word of the year. In 2017 the winner was “post-truth”. This has happened because increasingly we are getting our news from social media sites rife with sensationalism, false facts and deliberate manipulation of opinion.
In a world of “fake” - fake news, photoshopped images, plastic surgery, social media likes and meaningless sound bites, we have lost the value of authenticity!
Sadly we have become people who are afraid to be true to ourselves including our personality, values, and principles in life.
This weeks Torah portion Parshat Teruma outlines the measurements for the different components of the Tabernacle, the commentators identified that the construction instructions also indicate various hidden symbolisms relating to personal growth.
The Ark was to be covered with pure gold: “From within and from without you shall cover it” The commentators teach us that from this verse we learn the importance of authenticity and the teachings further note any Torah scholar whose inside is not like his outside, is not to be considered a Torah scholar.”
However it’s not possible to always act according to your inside in all situations; Jewish law and ethics addresses this with acceptable parameters of how to act outside. The challenge is not to make our outside to match our inside. Rather to recognize our deficiencies inside and even fake it on the outside rather than being bad, cruel or immoral.
The world will constantly break you down and change you into a version of yourself you no longer recognize but staying authentic to the inside, accepting that the inside needs to sometimes change is one if the best qualities you can have. It’s being honest with your strengths and flaws.