Ahead of his upcoming concert in Jerusalem on Saturday night, American Jewish reggae star Matisyahu sat down with Arutz Sheva to discuss what it means to him to be performing in Israel.
"Being in Israel is great," Matisyahu said. "For me it's a special place obviously. It's had a big part in my history in terms of making music, in terms of being Jewish, in terms of my own search for my own Jewish identity...it's always played a major part in my life."
"Being here and playing music - there's absolutely no place in the world to me that I'd rather be playing music."
Despite the security situation in Israel, the singer said he had no second thoughts about coming to Jerusalem and that both he and all the musicians performing with him were excited to be in the Jewish state.
Matisyahu also addressed his recent performance facing down anti-Israel boycotters at a Spanish reggae festival.
Calling it a "pretty intense situation," Matisyahu noted he changed his set list and used that "energy [from the crowd] as a fire for my own creativity."
Singing his hit song "Jerusalem" in front of the crowd "was a special moment, because the song...represents for so many...a connection to Israel and to the struggle that the Jewish people have gone through over the years."
Matisyahu said it was both "an honor and a privilege" to serve as an emissary for the many supporters of Israel here and abroad.
Speaking yesterday during a press conference with former President Shimon Peres, the reggae star urged Diaspora Jews to show solidarity by visiting Israel regardless of the "ups and downs" of the security situation.