Matisyahu's Very Public Spiritual Journey

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Matisyahu's Very Public Spiritual Journey

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that most readers here have heard of the Jewish performer, rapper reggae singer Matisyahu, who though raised in an ordinary (not Torah observant) American Jewish home found religion, became Orthodox, more specifically Chabad Chassidic, then in the full uniform  of beard, hat, coat etc became a hit reggae performer. Then he began having some spiritual doubts and shaved off the beard, took off the kippa, coat and all.

Matisyahu performing on stage at Rototom 
Sunsplash Festival in Benicassim, eastern Spain [EPA]

As a visibly Torah observant performer who wrote and performed Jewish themed songs, reggae style, he was in a category all his own. Nowadays it has been more difficult for him to keep up a following. But the BDS lobbyists gave Matisyahu a great gift by putting pressure on the Spanish Sunsplash Festival to ban him after he was scheduled to perform. In short, he was banned, and then after great international pressure, his invitation was reinstated, and he performed there Saturday night.

Pro-Palestinian groups during Matisyahu performance [EPA]

And he didn't sing about the weather. Facing antagonistic anti-Israel flags and signs promoting ArabPalestine sic, Matisyahu sang a song about Jerusalem, and this performance and all that led up to it will certainly be good for his career.

Jerusalem, if I forget you,
fire not gonna come from me tongue.
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.
In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
We’ve been traveling from state to state
And them don’t understand what they say
3,000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty
Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don’t you know that’s not the way to be
Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
Don’t you know it’s just a phase
Case of the Simon says
If I forget the truth then my words won’t penetrate
Babylon burning in the place, can’t see through the haze
Chop down all of them dirty ways,
That’s the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
Aint no one gonna break my stride
Aint no one gonna pull me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
Stay alive (PJ Media

We all know the well known saying:

"I don't care what you say about me, as long as you say something about me, and as long as you spell my name right."  George M Cohan quotes

Matisyahu stood up to this challenge, and now that he's targeted in the sights of the BDS no doubt they won't let up against him.

I don't know if that was the song that Matisyahu had previously planned on performing there, but it really was the perfect response to the antisemitic and anti-Israel campaign against him. Whether he likes it or not, with or without the beard and tzitziyot, he's still a symbol of Judaism and Israel for many. And I have no doubt that his spiritual journey is far from over.