Boulder to Get Matisyahu — UnBearded

Matisyahu Tuesday morning, via Twitter and YFrog

BREAKING: Singer Matisyahu, known heretofore as a “chasidic reggae superstar,” posted pictures of his now naked face on Twitter and announced that “all you get is me… no alias.”

Matisyahu, who appears Thursday night here at the Boulder Theater, has been known for years for being the most visible chasidic Jew in the world: full beard, payos, black kippah, black hat and black coat.  Now he has decided the next step in his spiritual journey requires him to shed that appearance.

From his blog Tuesday morning:

This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter.

No more Chassidic reggae superstar.

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”

Meanwhile, Boulder gets to be one of the first, if not the first concert of the now-unbearded one.  If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, here is the Boulder Theater concert link.

JTA covered the story here:

NEW YORK (JTA) — The world’s most famous Chasidic Jew has shaved his beard.

With a declaration Tuesday morning that he was “reclaiming” himself, Jewish music star Matisyahu — aka Matthew Miller — shaved his signature beard and wrote, “No more Chassidic reggae superstar.”

The musician posted two photos of his newly beardless face to the social networking site Twitter and added an explanation on his website a few hours later.

“When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process,” he wrote. “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.”

Read the rest of the story here.

About David Fellows

I've been writing things since grammar school, and served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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  1. So now that the Jewish community helped put him in the spotlight, it's clear to him that he doesn't need them any more. His spirituality made him realize that studying his roots revealed that he's another one of the Beastie Boys and he doesn't need his people any more in his rise to stardom and sainthood. Should be a show you can easily miss with a man talking about a savior he thinks he is.

  2. We are the people "Israel" – we are God wrestlers. I hope Matisyahu is blessed on his spiritual journey. Before people start judging, like the comment above, remember, the neshama (soul) is on the inside, not in how y
    you look.

  3. Even BIGGER news! Tim Tebow just announced he's going bal tshuvah.

  4. It's a huge problem Andi. Many Hassidic and Jewish religious people – particularly children – looked up to him because of his beard and peyos with awe and envy that he was able to 'straddle' both worlds- the insular Hassidic world as well as the world at large, without compromising his faith. Now he compromised his faith (yes, his look was part of his faith). People are shocked and saddened how he fell from grace.

  5. I disagree. As Jews, Matisyahu's music has been a big influence on our life. He is even someone that we can point towards to show our children that you can be Jewish and cool at the same time, which can be a difficult chore in the mind of a child going through the issues of public school, and not having many Jewish friends.

    I feel that people need to be able to realize that what wear on the outside is nothing more than a manifestation of what is inside, but that can be altered, played with, or whatever; it is the heart that is inside the man's mind that is what moves a person through spiritual or religious journeys.

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