The Shmooze

Matisyahu Shows Off Startling New Look

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share
yfrog
Matisyahu

Reggae star Matisyahu has shaved his long beard, posted photos of his startling new look on Twitter, and is now saying that he is disavowing the Hasidic life he has led for the past decade.

Tuesday morning, with the photos, he tweeted a somewhat cryptic line that seemed to explain at least part of his new look:

At the break of day I look for you at sunrise, when the tide comes in I lose my disguise.

Later in the day he posted on his blog a statement indicating the magnitude of the change:

This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter. No more Chassidic reggae superstar.

When I interviewed Matisyahu (nee Mathew Paul Miller) four years ago for a profile for The Jewish Week I walked away thinking that he was a spiritual seeker who might never feel satisfied with what he found. By the time Jordana Horn wrote this profile for the Forward three years ago, it seemed that because he was by then married and a father, he was beginning to feel more personally rooted.

Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality — not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules—lots of them—or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission.

Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.

  • Matisyahu

This was shortly after Matis had departed Crown Heights for Boro Park, where he was hanging out with a different Hasidic community than the Lubavitchers who had brought him into Orthodox life.

It seems not to have been enough.

Matisyahu is a brilliant, captivating performer. It will be interesting to see what his next chapter brings, for him and for those in the Lubavitch and general Orthodox community who were so proud of his success.

I just hope that for Matis’ sake and that of his family, that he reaches a place of stability and personal contentment.

There’s no word yet on what the change means for his planned Chanukah shows, which are booked for the Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: reggae, new look, matisyahu, hasidic, chassidic, beard

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.