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Cartoon: Why Did Matisyahu Really Do It?

Algemeiner Cartoonist Chava Light gives her take on why Matisyahu really trimmed his stubble.

48 Comments

  • 1. Yitzchok wrote:

    Although he sings and is a professional in his own right, it is quite obvious that he is not able to handle the public.

    He is definitely a sensitive individual, and -like all of us- he can use some guidance, rather than following his own instincts.

  • 3. D.B. wrote:

    Who the heck is Chava Light and why does the supposedly Lubavitch-run Algemeiner give her space to make “light” of a very serious halachic issue?

  • 6. Leave Comment wrote:

    I personally would like to invite you all to attend this Friday night services at the Besht Center in Crown Heights, for a very inspirational shabbos service. At the Besht, all are welcome, we do not judge people by the color of their skin nor the extent of their facial hair. Come sing, pray all in unionism to the one Gd, our father, the father of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
    Please help spread the light of Chanukah, the light of peace, understanding, kindness, love.

  • 7. Tziipporah Sufrin wrote:

    Whatever his reason. His music willnot be allowed in our house,nor will I have in our Chabad House.We want people who are on the upward spiral of Yiddishkeit and not the other way around.

  • 9. Shlomo wrote:

    Wow, #7, Wow.. Glad I live nowhere near your Chabad house! Seems like you have the Rebbe’s message all backward. How embarrassing for you and your shlichus.

    Did you ever stop to consider that your attitude may be precisely what gives Matisyahu and conflicted JEWS like him a reason to feel alienated from so-called Torah Jews in the first place?

    Don’t play his music, fine, but to categorically reject all Jews who aren’t on par with your definition of the “upward spiral of yiddishkeit” is deplorable and a chilul Lubavitch.

  • 10. Derka Derka wrote:

    @ D.B. YEA! How dare there be free expression in the form of water color and humorous cartoons! We should take the same offense that the Muslims did at seeing a cartoon of Mohammad, right?!

  • 13. A very grateful community mom! wrote:

    I feel bad for Mattisyahu. A yid without a strong foundation, is now floundering. I believe the reason he took off the beard is because he looks so much younger without,, vanity is a nisayon that many have a hard time keeping a handle on,,,

  • 15. NOT PROPER wrote:

    SINCE WHEN KOCH’N SO MUCH IN SOMEONE’S PERSONAL SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES AND CHALLENGES HAS BECOME LEGITIMATE??? AND IN SUCH MEDIUM?? AND ON SUCH SCALE??

    WHY DOES THIS FEEL SO WRONG? THERE ARE SO MANY HALOCHO ISSUES REGARDING THE PUBLISHMENT OF ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE.. ARE WE AWARE OF IT AT ALL???

    LET ALONE HALOCHO FOR A SECOND, HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF THIS CARTOON WOULD BE ABOUT YOU?? ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES IN YIDDISHKAYT??

    AM I THE ONLY ONE ON THIS?

    IF THIS OUR PRESS TODAY, WHAT WILL BE TOMORROWS’?

  • 16. B O B wrote:

    Leave the poor guy alone… Inside, Reb’ Miller is a simple yid who wants to be left alone. He might even want to move into a private snoopy dog house and live there part time and visit the real world when he gets the courage to do so. Leave him be. He’ll come around in time and grow back the beard. Mark my words.

  • 17. Me wrote:

    Very helick lubavitch issue blablabla – tired of hearing this rubbish. Its the 21st century – rebbe ain’t here – its hard to hear this with all the other crap running rampant in ch starting with machlokes and rabonim so cut the beard issue as it ain’t going away ray!

    Aaaaaa Chava was funny – can we laff abit?

  • 18. unbelievable wrote:

    Chava Light, so glad you feel so comfortable making light of another Jew’s struggle so publicly. Nasty to say the least

  • 19. to 15 wrote:

    To 15

    Firstly, since when is it normal to type with your capslock on?

    Secondly, stop with your BS about his “personal” life. He HAS NO personal life.

    He stopped having a “personal life” when he became a celebrity. There is absolutely NOTHING about his life that is personal.

  • 20. Who gves a hoot? seriously. wrote:

    It makes no sense that a lubavitcher website shows such interest in such low lifes.

  • 21. Dovber zeichner wrote:

    I was a friend of Matisyahu in yeshiva. We used to very good friends. I am very concerned by the seemingly poor path that he is on. I am even move bothered by all the negative comments about him. Many people making nasty comments about him have never met him and do not know a thing about him. I do not know what exactly he is going through emotionally, spiritually, etc, and I feel bad for him. Please do not judge and or hate him. Many BTs go through a difficult time during their journey in frumkite. Perhaps he is going through some hard time and will recover shortly. Rather than seeing the negative and pointing out his faults, it would be better to wish him well and home he finds a clear and straight path in yiddishkite.

  • 22. Who cares? wrote:

    If he did this as a private man and would make no tumult about it, nu! But this guy is going public by saying that what the Ariza“l and our Rebe’s stated as fact Matisyahu says is ”ludicrous”, he’s beyond the pale and he qualifies as a Choite uMachti es Harabim

    I feel terrible of many Neshamos that will follow his path. I’m unaware of a jew who cut his beard in order to grow in yidishkeit, and i’m unaware of a good jew who published silly pictures of himself transgressing publicly the teachings of the Arizal for the purpose of inspiring jews to become closer to hashem, you do this only with the opposite goal in mind.

  • 23. Annodamiz wrote:

    I can’t stand some of the holier-than-thou attitudes some of you harbor, the snubbing and lack of acceptance to other jews disgust me. What happened to “Love another Jew”? Accepting is an extremely hard thing to do. Everything is so foreign that isn’t heimishe yiddishkeit. Anything less than is obviously demonic and not torah way so it must be disgusting.

    I don’t care, he’s a good man no matter what. He should do what he thinks is best for him.

  • 28. 2cent wrote:

    stop writing about this idiot, he is obviously messed up and confused. i’m sure glad i did not allow his “music” in my house.
    to 23: i accept you for the sheygetz that you are – right back at ya.
    to 24: i hope his relatives are reading this. i hope his wife and kids are OK.
    to the rest of the defenders; stop defending this act of shameless publicity. the guy is making a chilul hashem berabim.

  • 29. 11 yea old wrote:

    not nice he is a bal tiova and we have to love a fellow Jew more

    so he is lost and it is are job help him find his way

  • 30. A Rachmonus wrote:

    Matisyahu missed the Chabad point!
    Without proper hachanos and goals – the actions suffer too!
    I feel bad for the KARLINER CHOSSID and his family
    HASHEM should help him
    This said – he had the “zchus” of taking so many of the youth down his way…

  • 31. 11 year old to18 wrote:

    how dear you speak such bad words you cold blooded thing you shod be disgusted bi your words

  • 33. its art people not a damn debate shut up wrote:

    chava u make me laugh and ur art is magnificent!

  • 35. Mazeldicker Rebbe wrote:

    Someone expl;ain me the cartoons?

    The day after shaving his beard he was at the mikvah and at shachris. How many Lulabs did the same?

  • 36. Does she realize how offensive and silly wrote:

    To Chava Light (whoever you are) and the Algemeiner, (if this was printed there):

    In Russia, Chabad Chassidim were killed al kiddush Hashem for refusing to shave their beards.

    mattisyahu made a chillul hashem and his actions are sad and upsetting to many.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for making such silly jokes about such a serious issue. Shame on you!

  • 37. dys wrote:

    it is very not nice to make cartoons about someone else.

    go mattiyahu zei neisht nispol

    by the way everybody – i happen to have had a yerida yesterday (like we all do once in a while) but i know that its letzrich aliyah and like the Rebbe taught me (and all of us) that the yeridah itself is part of the aliyah. so i’m just going on

    and first i’m going to go on with ahavas yisroel which is a kall kodel batorah.

  • 38. we don-t like changes wrote:

    there are plenty of good jews out there that don’t have a beard. It’s not the beard that makes you a better jew than the next one. I think we are just a bit dissappointed because we got to know him with his beard (although before he became frum he didn’t have one) and we don’t like changes. I wish him the best of luck and I hope he stays very stable for his wife and children.

  • 39. Pinchos Woolstone wrote:

    I am concern for this young mans mental well being, artistic person lead torturous live, always dissatisfied, always struggling for the ultimate………
    I hope his friends will support him and his family during this difficult time.
    Is there a mashpia who can reach out to the family.
    We all have our challenges.
    I am sure the Rebbe will bless him with menuchas hanefesh

  • 40. A note from Chava Light wrote:

    As the artist behind the cartoon, I appreciate all of your opinions and notes. In response to the feedback this has been generating, I wanted to clarify some things. Unlike the throngs of people who have attacked Matisyahu religiously, these cartoons don’t touch upon religion at all. They are merely a cartoonist’s take on an event that other people are reading very deeply into – and were never meant as a personal attack on Matisyahu.

    In fact, while people seem to be searching for something darker and have said hurtful and hateful things about Matisyahu’s “betrayal” and have attacked his sincerity as an observant Jew, these cartoons list a few obviously lighthearted (and very unrealistic) reasons someone would cut their beard.

    Cartoons are often inspired by satire, and the point of these cartoons is not to make fun of Matisyahu but rather to promote discussion about the *personal* reasons someone would make this very *personal* decision – and in using “silly” examples like this, it provides a non-judgemental platform upon which dialogue can start.

    For those of you who have taken great offense at this cartoon to the point that you attack me or the Algemeiner personally, and for those of you who have vehemently said things in anger and hate, it is these things that drive people away. I understand people being concerned that I seem to be making a mockery of Halacha or making fun of another Jew, but it is concerning to me that there seems to be an intolerance of people providing critical thought, a differing of opinion, alternative humor, or perhaps even those who choose to cut their beards.

    A lighthearted cartoon which doesn’t attack Matisyahu religiously or personally and doesn’t provide any statement against halacha should not inspire such vehement response. People need to lighten up a little and realize not everything they see or read is worth getting upset over. And if they get upset, a kind word is a much more effective way of getting people to change than attacking them. Turning to anger the moment someone veers from what you personally deem as the proper way to act – whether it is me or Matisyahu or anyone else – is not something which would ever inspire anyone to want to keep up an association with Chabad.

    I look forward to drawing more for you in the future. Your comments definitely are entertaining and good food for thought, and I look forward to future feedback. :)

  • 44. Chaya L. wrote:

    No one has the right to judge him. We all have our nisyonos in life and no one knows how they would act in this situation. It is very difficult to have talent and deal with it in a spiritual and physical way. I wish him Hatzlocha and Menuchas Hanefesh. Let’s all have lots of Ahavas Yisroel. It’s the only way.

  • 45. judith wrote:

    Dear Chava Light,

    I’m sure you didn’t mean ill by your humorous cartoons. But I must say that your response troubles me somewhat, inasmuch as you accuse “those of you who have taken great offense at this cartoon to the point that you attack me or the Algemeiner personally” of intolerance but you don’t seem equally bothered that many of the responses attacked *Mattisyahu* personally.

    Perhaps you intended that to be included in “for those of you who have vehemently said things in anger and hate…” but it would have been more appropriate to specify that you didn’t intend or support the criticism of him that you evoked by bringing up the subject. Your silence on that point leads me to wonder.

    I wasn’t even aware that Mattisyahu had cut his beard until someone sent me the cartoons and I don’t know what other reasons anyone may have for declaring him a Choite uMachti es Harabim, but surely we should wait for our Rabbonim to make such a determination and in the meantime be Dan l’Kaf Zchus, and always ready to welcome back a sincere Baal Teshuva.

  • 46. att. Chava :Light wrote:

    There is a halacha that you cannot say something even GOOD about a person if it is possible that it will lead to people sayign bad. Your cartoon does exactly that. Why do you want to promote discussion about someone’s personal life/decisions? It is really of of line in my opinion.

    And to Mrs. Sufrin:
    Seriously? YOU won’t have people who are on a downward spiral- and YOU judge that? Leave him alone, don’t listen to his music,, even don’t have him in your house, BUT to say that publicly as a shlucha is disgusting.

  • 47. A Note From Chava Light - to Judith wrote:

    Judith,

    Thanks for your note!

    My place as an illustrator and as a cartoonist is to respond regarding my own work – not to condemn people’s responses to Matisyahu. The people who have angrily responded to my lighthearted cartoon by attacking Matisyahu were not inspired to do so from my cartoon, but rather from their own intolerance of another Jew.

    Additionally, if you reread my response above:
    “*it is concerning to me that there seems to be an intolerance of people* providing critical thought, a differing of opinion, alternative humor, or perhaps even those *who choose to cut their beards”* referencing people’s intolerance of Matisyahu’s personal choice.

    Additionally, I continue to respond clarifying the cartoon was not meant as a personal attack against Matisyahu. (“A lighthearted cartoon which doesn’t attack Matisyahu religiously or personally and doesn’t provide any statement against halacha should not inspire such vehement response.”)

    I do not in any way feel a sense of responsibility for the response to the cartoon. People who respond angrily and hatefully to another Jew are not inspired by my cartoon to do so – and are the same people who have responded in the same manner on every other article on this topic. They are also the same people who do not understand the intent of a cartoon – that whether or not they find it personally funny, it’s meant to be humorous and to provoke thought and discussion. They are also people who do not realize a kind word would go a lot farther.

    That brings me back to the end of my note above, where I wrote, *“Turning to anger the moment someone veers from what you personally deem as the proper way to act – whether it is me or Matisyahu or anyone else – is not something which would ever inspire anyone to want to keep up an association with Chabad.”*

    I definitely addressed the points you made regarding my note above, and to clarify: no matter what people’s opinions religiously, I do not support attacking another Jew. I feel a kind word would make a much bigger impact. At the same time, my cartoons were not attacking in any way – either in intent or execution. However, once I draw something, it is out of my hands, and if people choose to twist it for their own ends, that’s on them.

    I appreciate your note, Judith! I hope I have clarified!
    And I look forward to more feedback in the future!

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