Matisyahu, the renowned Hasidic Jewish reggae star, altered his religious image on Tuesday after he posted photos of himself on Twitter with a shaved beard.
While his new look may not have been kosher by Hasidic standards, the musician still claims that he still maintains his values and goes to the synagogue everyday.
This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter. No more Chassidic reggae superstar, Matisyahi said in a post on his Web site. Sorry folks, all you get is me...no alias, he added.
He explained that when he became religious 10 years ago, it was a natural organic process and his own 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.
Now Matisyahu is reclaiming himself. Trusting goodness and his divine mission.
For those concerned with my naked face, don't worry....you haven't seen the last of my facial hair, he said.
His fans had mixed reactions:
but ...why? the beard is the hadras ponim! The beauty of a man and represents yod-gimel middas ha-rachamim! Why would you want to take it away? You have a beautiful son- what do you want to raise him with the hot Hollywood parties or real spirituality, commented user momBH on his Website.
Maalin B'kodesh V'lo Yordim. No jew can rely on themselves alone to guide them on the right path. if that were true we would need no torah. you can love all jews and include all jews but the customs, traditions and mitzvos you take on become a part of you, a part of what you transmit to your children, the vehicle through while holiness enters your life. you can't shed them as your style changes and expect your soul to remain unscathed, pure. There were many who said you could never remain orthodox in the music world, that the success would corrupt you, that you'd shed your observance. i defended you. i believed. this makes me very sad. I have seen this happen to people before. where they become orthodox and then get bored with it. it breaks my heart, said Eva in another comment.
Other fans heralded the change. Saying he looked beautiful and that no one should be judged by the hair on their face.
Matisyahu, originally from West Chester, Pa., is best known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, and hip-hop beat boxing. His single A King Without a Crown, made the top 40 in the U.S charts. In all his live gigs the singer would support the traditional Hasidic male look of a beard, black hat, black pants and a white shirt.