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June 6, 2012 10:39 pm

Matisyahu Explains His ‘Evolving’ Spirituality in Heartfelt Letter to Fans

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The photo of Matisyahu released on Twitter that caused some orthodox fans to express concern. Photo: Matisyahu/Twitter.

Popular Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu, who has recently come under criticism from some in the Orthodox Jewish community for appearing to shed some of his trademark traditional Jewish garb and practices, has published a heartfelt letter to his fans on his Facebook page.

 

In it he shares his feelings about his spiritual evolution and his belief system, pledging, “To those who feel betrayed by my choices or my look, don’t worry, I think they will continue to change and evolve–that is the awesomeness of life.”

The artist encourages fans to listen to his new record “Spark Seeker” to gain some insight into his “reflective journey full of transition and growth,” calling the release a “reflection of his inner landscape.”

The full text of the letter can be read below.

To My Fans-

I will try to write a couple of ideas and thoughts, but I prefer to speak in my native language, the language of the soul, Music. So I will preface this piece by asking that before prescribing judgement to some pictures, please wait and listen to my new record “Spark Seeker” from start to finish. The record is infused with both Jewish and universal inspiration, as it is a reflection of my inner landscape over the past 2 years of its making. From visions of the Bal Shem Tov to Kabbalah references, prayers in Hebrew and stories in Yiddish, this record was both a spiritual and reflective journey full of transition and growth.

That being said, I believe there is a higher level…a level where there is no divisiveness. Where there is complete unity, and that is what I am mirroring. There was a time when I felt it was necessary to show the world what I believed in through my physical appearance. I think this can be a wonderful thing, but as my faith has evolved I have come to believe there are many other ways to show my spirituality and Judaism. Ways in which our humanity is emphasized over our differences. This was my aim for the music. This was always my aim. During the making of this record I began to feel that I was shedding something, and with that I chose to shave. Just as when I was 18 and I shaved my dreadlocks to let go of my identity, I felt as if I was returning to a time prior to religion or rules or right and wrong. To a place where truth shows itself in beauty and balance and I felt it was time to walk a new path.

What that exactly means or looks like I am still figuring out, and will be for the rest of my life, I hope. To those who feel betrayed by my choices or my look, don’t worry, I think they will continue to change and evolve–that is the awesomeness of life. I think that through patience, in time you will see we are still on the same team. We are ALL on the same team. I am so excited for you to hear my new record I hope it will explain and inspire so much more then my words here can.

Sincerely In Love and Truth,

Matis

(leave your questions in the comments below, I’ll be chatting back with you for a bit on Facebook)

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