We all know what happened. Matisyahu was invited to the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival. BDS Valencia pulled out the stops to ban the Jew. Rototom demanded that Matisyahu pass an ideological litmus test and endorse yet another Palestinian state. He refused. They banned him.
At that point, everyone realized BDS had played its hand — it was about Jews, not “Palestinian rights” or any such nonsense. It was anti-Semitic hatred in new clothing. The Spanish government and leading journals condemned the Rototom organizers, not just Jewish groups in America. And Rototom backed down, putting Matisyahu back on the schedule for Saturday night.
Here’s the thing. Matisyahu cut his beard in late 2011 and dropped his yarmulke not long after. “No more Hasidic Reggae superstar,” he told fans on Twitter. And everyone has known this — for more than three years.
Yet much of the coverage of this issue didn’t feature Matisyahu images like the left half of the enclosed photo… rather, they showed the dated Matisyahu on the right. First they come for the Jews, and first they come for the visible ones. And everyone still knows Matisyahu as a very visible Jew.
If you don’t identify as a Jew, Matisyahu, they’ll remind you. It may seem sad, it may seem unfair, but it’s how it works. HKB”H told us so. There are many, many more Mitzvos to do, and being the only well-known Chassidic reggae artist had its benefits. So… it’s not too late to try the Torah path once again.
One Reply to “A Footnote on the Matisyahu Debacle”
would love to see matisyahu do teshuvah and become religious again. i know he was interested in breslov and in some other chassidus. i think the fact that he was raised “reform” and that was his life before he became so religious so fast… meaning– he maybe went way too fast in becoming religious and it may take more time for him to come back…even gradually.
i have a friend who was similarly raised reform and became very religious in chabad for a few years, lived in israel..and eventually it was too much. many years later–he is now an observant jew–but it took years 10-15 yrs–
i don’t know what the stats are, but BTs who go too far too fast may risk such experiences. i just hope matisyahu will return. he looks so much more real when he looks hassidic!
hopefully with time.—even gradually.