Disguise Comes Off: Matisyahu Removes His Beard

Twitter – @matisyahu

A short while ago, Hassidic reggae artist Matisyahu Miller posted photos of himself on Twitter – less his iconic beard, along with the caption: “At the break of day I look for you at sunrise, when the tide comes in I lose my disguise.” Update: Matisyahu comments. 2nd Update: Matisyahu says he is still observant. [in the extended article].

Update: Note from Matisyahu

This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter.

No more Chassidic reggae superstar.

Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality—not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules—lots of them—or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission.

Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.

– Matisyahu

Update: Matisyahu posted a follow up tweet later today:

“For all of those who are being awesome,you are awesome. For all those who are confused: today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday.”

– Matisyahu

204 Comments

  • 3. Sad wrote:

    Unfortunately, this is who he is. His music is not kosher and we should not think it is and certainly not listen or let our children listen and hurt our precious neshamos.

  • 4. what wrote:

    SO NOOOOOOOT TRUE. I KNOW HIM AND HE STILL HAS HIS FULL BEARD AND PAYOS AND WOULD NEVER REMOVE THEM. THIS IS SUCH LASHON HARA OF CROWNHEIGHTS.INFO TO PUBLICIZE SUCHA FALSE THING THAT WILL CAUSE SO MANY PPLE TO TALK LASHAN HARA THAT’S NOT EVEN TRUE.

  • 5. CR wrote:

    BTW, he looks absolutely horrible in these pictures; thin, gaunt and his eyes look like he has just come from a barfight in which he got the business end of an empty bottle in the face.

  • 8. Yitzie wrote:

    As soon as he left Chabad I knew that this was next. We kept him in place. Where he went next was just a phase and thay were happy to have a celedrity among them. We have to many of them to make us bend over for them. He did not like that and left us. This is who he is and always was. He used the jewish comunity to push his agenda and we fell for it. Now its time as true shluchim to reach out to him and make him a real BAAL TESHUVAH.

  • 10. lalal wrote:

    I knew this was coming all along!!! The shulchan aruch says don’t put your self in putting your self in middle of a test that what he does singing for a non jewish world and throwing himself in to the crowds not to mention the tznius problem… one thing leads to the next…

  • 11. Moshe wrote:

    I hope i isn’t true.
    I lost my taste for Matis exactly a year ago Chanukah when he made the video with the woman feeding him grapes…
    I did like his music and style, but it was on a steady spiritual decline and I now feel liberated. Being a fan of Matis is now the same as being a fan of Phish.
    Thnkas for removing your disguise. Now we see your true colors like the famous story of the Maharash. Till today I thought the goyishkeit was his disguise and the chassidishkeit was his pnimi. Now I know what the truth.

  • 14. To #6 Yitzi wrote:

    Your a sick individual. You and your cronies were the cause of this. I would like you to feel shunned in your own community and wee what you do. Imagine if schools said that your music is not good kosher enough? Would you feel hurt and resentful? Probably yes!

    Also to say that he was always like this how do YOU know? Did you ever hear of Yochonon Cohen Godol, or what about Acher? Just because someone has a change of heart does not mean anything.

  • 18. Crown Heights BT wrote:

    To be honest, I agree with #14. I have been very, very close doing this myself. I was way more frum and inspired before I moved here 8 months ago, which is a giant disappointment.

  • 21. ttodkdkd wrote:

    Omg before any nastier comments i just want to remind everyone about the aveyra of lashon hara!

  • 22. Respect wrote:

    Matisyahu is a beautiful soul who dedicated himself to spread yiddishkeit through his music. We don’t know if this is real yet, so hold off on the comments. Respect him, because he is deserving of our deep respect.

  • 23. #8 Lashon Hara if true is NOT kosher wrote:

    Lashon Hara that is not true is called ‘motzei shem rah’. Lashon hara which is true (or you think is true) is also NOT kosher. The halacha is that even if it is well publicized you are not allowed to repeat it. Please get that straight. Also, most people believe that a rumor is true and they are often mistaken.

  • 24. help needed wrote:

    sad. he needs counseling. I sincerely hope he does not harm himself. His real jewish name is Feivish Heshel, perhaps calling him by his proper name will call out to his essence of his neshama.

  • 25. #18 wrote:

    #18…its a test of Ahvas Yisrael. We got love from Chabad but can you love it back, even with all the imperfections of Crown Heights. Thats the true test. Hang in there.

  • 27. Not a fan wrote:

    Is everyone 100% sure that this is not a Photoshopped picture for a promotion of some kind?

  • 29. To #12. wrote:

    When I had to shut off his music video in the middle (because of the the women he had filmed in his music video – practically wearing nothing(!) – feeding grapes, that’s when he I saw EXACTLY the direction he was going. He basically filmed a women in a provocative bathing-suit, displaying her as some kind of shmuztedike model. I stopped listening to his music already then.

  • 31. Is this for real? wrote:

    This looks like it’s out of a bad mystery/horror movie. “Disguise comes off!” Yuck…

  • 32. Love you fellow Jew foundation wrote:

    “Never judge anybody till YOU walk in his shoes”
    Maybe if I or you were in his place we would be worse.

  • 35. Spread light, ignite, dont putothers out wrote:

    I dont believe this is true, even it it were to be i would expect that Chabad out of all people would respect a person who is going through some spiritual struggle.

  • 37. TO #4 wrote:

    Get out of your bubble. He HIMSELF posted this on his Twitter feed: “At the break of day I look for you at sunrise When the tide comes in I lose my disguise http://yfrog.com/mng3ocj http://yfrog.com/mgj7ezhj” (If its not true, then why post it? Promoting ones name? There are better ways of doing so.)
    His previous post contained “My homegirl @dr_dot is the best massuese in NYC. Hands down. Check her out.”
    To corroborate his picture, his masseuse posted on her Twitter account “@matisyahu yfrog.com/mng3ocj Hair does not make the man. YOU are an incredible person, no matter how you wear your hair.”
    She IS right to some extent; Hair ie. a beard DOESNT make a person, but nevertheless, I find this as a confirmation of his posted picture.

    Either way, is this how a Jewish “icon” should behave?
    Publicizing about getting a massage or whatever he got from a female masseuse? NO! Publicizing his abandonment of Yiddishkeit? NO!
    If Avrohom Fried did this, would it be Loshon Hara?
    What about MBD? Its not Loshon Hara when you speak about a Jew who has thrown away Yiddishkeit and is glad about it.
    On one hand you can say “Its not our business what he does.” “Let him be.” However, when its posted on a Twitter account with a following of 1,356,800 people- it becomes public knowledge and is private no more. Additionally, the fact that he’s been affiliated with the frum world, built a frum following, and has now taken a left turn is cause for publicizing what he’s become and for his music followers to beware.
    DONT go preaching about Loshon Hara when this is someone who OUR CHILDREN have been following and are at risk for continuing to follow C”V in the wrong direction. I guess its up to what his future music will show.

    Either way I wish him luck with his inner demons.

  • 39. UMMMM wrote:

    E U ALL NUTS OR WHAT?? I CAN ALSO PUT A FAKE PICTURE OF MYSELF AND SAY I CUT OFF MY BEARD CHAS VESHOLOM

  • 40. Lets be honest wrote:

    Why is he any different than the rest of Lubavitch? Look around Crown Heights today, look how many beardless people call themselves Lubavitch and we accept them. Why are we villifying him?

  • 41. misunderstood wrote:

    Notice that it’s more than just the beard… i don’t think that’s the only part of the disguise that he meant…

  • 43. Just knew it wrote:

    he was never a true BT, he was not sincere with Yidishkeit, he lost too many brain cells smoking stuff. he tried this “Chabad” lifestyle because it provided some interesting diversion. Inside he was always a low life druggie, yearning to return to his “true self” without a disguise.
    like madonne learning kabbalah with boteach.
    big pitty on the wife and kids. I hope she gets away from his as soon as possible and gets a large alimony settlement.

  • 44. Chaim Tovim wrote:

    Now that he’s posted it on his FB page, we know it’s true. Like all of us who go through challenging times, we have to love him and encourage him towards revealing his inner soul to himself, just as we have to do to ourselves.

  • 45. a jew trying to do the right thing wrote:

    A story is told that when Reb Mendel Futerfuss was in jail in the former USSR, there was once a card game going in his cell which is against the rules in jail, the guard came in several times and each time the cards mysteriously disappeared, and were not found even after extensive searches and body searches, it transpired that the card-dealer was a pickpocket and slipped the cards into the guards pocket on the way in and removed them on his way out each time he entered.
    Reb Mendel learned a lesson from this, how it is important to look into one’s own pockets first.

  • 46. CR wrote:

    All the LH thumpers on this forum omit a few crucial details from the discussion. If a piece of information is widely known it is not LH but public knowledge. Also, if a presumed-to-be-ehrliche person goes OTD it is incumbent upon those who know to warn others of this individuals treachery! Here we have a formerly (yes, formerly) frum individual, widely known in our community and in the world, engaging in behaviors that completely belie that notion. And he does it publicly without any “busha” on the matter.

    It’s all over. The man has now officially made himself an “oisvarf” and freely advertizes that fact. Deal with it. And we should thank him for removing, once and for all, any doubt about being “chassidic” and arguably even “frum”.

  • 50. NOT Lashon Hara wrote:

    To the “Lashon Hara” advocates here:

    Do us all a favor and keep your mouths shut!

    What this “man” did was create a huge mockery of orthodox Jews in general, and specifically Chabad.

    Who is he fooling? It is NOT possible to be a world-famous celebrity and stay normal or Frum.

    He USED Chabad and Yiddishkeit to promote his music.

    Mark my words: this man is going DOWN.

  • 51. its in the message, not the music wrote:

    If he would listen to his first album he might come back. It used to be about the message, slowly he started to focus more on the music than the message. He needs to hear again the message, from his neshoma.

  • 52. Video wrote:

    It’s funny how everyone’s complaining about the grapes video. You’ve seen much worse.

  • 53. Yochana wrote:

    I don’t mind him shaving his beard. It’s the peyote that got me. That was too far.

  • 54. The kids wrote:

    His poor children. I just hope that he took/takes them into account in whatever he does.

  • 56. Mose wrote:

    This is it!!!!

    Until now you might have bin able to say that he’s really Chabad and the wierd music is Kiruv, Shabing his beard makes him look like a rapper off the street!!!!!!!!

  • 58. sad wrote:

    It is obviously more than just his beard. We have to treat him like we would anyone who was a BT and couldn’t handle what he missed and went back. How can we be angry at him?

  • 61. To #44 wrote:

    This is not about Lubavitch, he dissociated himself with Lubavitch years ago. It’s about Yiddishkeit in general.

  • 63. What about his family? wrote:

    No one mentions his wife and kids. His journey may take him wherever, but what about his family? This is very sad.

  • 64. NOTAFAN wrote:

    #4 he posted this information on his own Twitter account and offical website. So does this mean that he was hiding behind his “disguise” of being a Frum JEW? I feel bad for his kids…

  • 65. A neshama is what-s a stake wrote:

    I only know Matisyahu as millions do, the reggae singer. I don’t know him personally so all I can say is it is sad JUST like it is sad when anyone who calls themselves Chabad goes downhill like that. Any bochur, girl, ANYONE!
    He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t care about me- I don’t care about him I care about his neshama just the same as I care about any Yid’s neshama.
    I care more for his wife and children.
    Being a big shot in the media world gives lots of tests, shame that he failed.
    Whoever his true Chabad friends are and actually know him as a person should try to help him.

  • 66. Love Him wrote:

    The beauty of his music was that a very human, spiritual struggle existed within him and he expressed the same feelings of millions of people. Don’t judge someone until you have walked in his shoes. He was a sincere BT, very sincere. But becoming frum does not mean that the struggle ends… it rages on. Love your fellow as yourself. v’dal.

  • 67. Shame on number 39!! wrote:

    Shame on you number 39! Who the hell are you Judge! And all of you who are saying Loshon Hora about him think if he was your own son or husband. I sure hope you wouldn’t talk about or treat him this way. What happened to loving every Jew! Frum or not Frum beard or no beard. All you negative people out there you should be ashamed of yourselves!!

  • 68. Respect wrote:

    He is a Jew who is free to make his own decisions in his own personal religious path. Regardless of the direction he wants to take it is non of everyone’s business. You need to respect that. By going into the whole idea of his music is not even Jewishand he is a fake is just absurd is just a way to put him down for what he did. Let me tell you something, MBD, Avrohom fried and many more artists use many tunes form non Jewish musicians, so be careful what you say before hating.

    The Torah teaches us to love every Jew regardless of the path he/she wishes to take. You should embrace him instead of pushing him further away. He did not grow up religious keep that in mind it is not easy to stay on path. If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything.

  • 70. Really???? wrote:

    are we really like this? are we really going to say ‘i knew it’? and how did he hold his own music? did he even target his music towards chasidim? or chilunim? and a tzarat is to shave, correct?

  • 72. big stupid deal! wrote:

    So he fried out. WHO CARES!?
    If that’s all having a beard meant to him, then all this does is just confirm that he IS an ois vorf, he WAS an ois vorf – and he will ALWAYS be an ois vorf!
    When you look at a 100% pure yid – you are actually seeing what lies deep, deep inside. When you look at a yid – and you see a clean shaven, hoiler kup, non-tzitzis wearing shtick tiniff – you are ACTUALLY seeing what is beneath whatever the eye could see!
    First he was looking for it, then he found it – then he throws it away, what does this tell you?

  • 73. number 39 wrote:

    Ouch, I was never a fan of Matisyahu’s so called music but I always looked at him as a fellow Jew. all I can say to number 39 is if your ahavas yisroel went into a cat it would drop dead on the spot. I hope I never get into your mouth.

  • 74. Values Anyone wrote:

    Is he truly a good person? How high on our rung of values do we place facial hair? Who are we to judge what is right or wrong in the greater scheme of things? Unfortunately our value systems are becoming more and more confused and shallow. Are beard and payos accessories to a pious person or or is it only the beard and peyos which makes a person pious? I think it is crucial to start viewing people in a positive light.
    I do not know Matisyahu and I do not know what led him to shave off his beard and peyos, but reading these toxic comments – I might have an idea.

  • 75. Paranoid RON PAULite wrote:

    dudes and chickettes,

    have anyone ever considered this was a conspiracy?

    like someone said above “22.” Not a fan wrote:

    Is everyone 100% sure that this is not Photoshopped picture for a promotion of some kind?
    it could be, it could also be something else….

    1)There is the pic where he looks way tooo young like 19.. i met him Dvar Torah he was like 26 and ddnt look “that” young

    2)Then there is the photo of him above in concert all old looking

    3) he said in his tweet you have not seen the last of my facial hair

    “don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.

    – Matisyahu”
    bro something is defiantly up……

    PS printing paper money is counterfeiting
    RON PAUL 2012
    liberty ……… its popular

    look at what he said in his tweet

  • 76. A REALIST wrote:

    The fact, is whether true or not, it dose not change the fact that if it is true, people feel let down and they have every right to feel that way, as people were led to believe that this would bridge the tremendous amount of differences between the various standers of people in the FRUM community. I suppose it just go’s to show that it remains what it is and there is no room to bridge here. its not what we educate our children and incase we thought we could utilize him as an example TO SAY THAT MAYBE WE CAN ITS JUST A RUDE AWAICANING THAT THERE IS NO OTHER WAY THEN RIGHT WAY OF ‘AL THAROS HAKODESH’ THERE ARE NO SUBSETUTES

  • 77. Jay wrote:

    Only HaShem can be the Judge. We are all brothers and sisters. We must support our brother through this dark time and help him be the man he is. We are his light. Beard or no beard…We love you and who you are. Your music has been there through some hard time shining light on the good!!!!
    Look forward to the new year of more AWESOME music…Reggea on borther!

  • 78. Compassion wrote:

    A sweet man with a beautiful wife and children who is going through a massive yetzer hara battle should be viewed with compassion… as you would want your child ch”v to be viewed if he or she was going through a similar crisis.

  • 80. poor wife wrote:

    poor wife and children. they must be so confused with such a husband, and father.

  • 81. dear matis wrote:

    As a baal tshuva myself, I can’t begin to tell you how much you inspire me. You went with your gut and I pray that it should give light to new revelations and much inspiration. We must break free from the crown heights brainwashing and return to our souls mission. Beard/no beard YOU ARE A CHILD OF HASHEM and chossid of the Rebbe – forever and always. No matter where it is you end up, this is a connection you will NEVER be able to break free from. Thank you for being a positive role model for all! Stay strong and avoid the negativity. What lubavitch has turned into since the passing of the Rebbe is a nasty one, filled with judgment and hate! My brother, we are all of the same soul. A G-dly soul that can never EVER be tainted. Moshiach now!

  • 83. CONGRATULATIONS wrote:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! CROWN HEIGHTS DOING WHAT IT DOES BEST, CROWN HEIGHTS EXCELLS IN LOSHON HORA AND GUESS WHAT ELSE? SINAS CHINAM! AND WHERE ARE THE RABONIM???

  • 85. For Matisyahu wrote:

    New song for you:

    I lost the test
    It’s me I love best
    Forget the rest
    Because I sure am messed

    As a Jew I am lost
    I don’t realize at what cost
    I destroyed my life
    My kids and my wife

  • 86. not a fan wrote:

    TREACHERY? #48?
    you and everyone in chabad didn’t know that there was a chance that he was not stable or had issues?
    While he had the limelight and focus of the media it was useful.
    He doesnt represent me or what I believe, nor do I have his annoying music in my house.
    But using the word “TREACHERY”, isnt the way to explain his behavior.
    Treachery is for those misguided Jews that support the Hamas and the cv destruction of Israel.
    Now thats treachery.
    Misguided and confused and off the derech – (not that I thought he was ever really on it)is what you should describe Matissyahu as.

    Unfortunately, there are too many who are off the derech and for many reasons.
    Yes, his behavior is and was questionable as a religous person,his music, jumping into mixed crowds etc.
    But isn’t bringing jews closer to G-d and His torah – the reason why you shluchim are out there?
    Maybe its time to revaluate our priorities and discover why so many are turned on and off and away from our community and our way of life.

  • 87. BrokenHearted in LA wrote:

    We don’t know his battle he is waging inside. He simply might not be well. He might fight daemons and he might have his huge inside struggle to keep to his family, to keep to his frum world. Imagine, just imagine his kids in Cheder. What are they going to here tomorrow? I feel so sad for his wife, and kidz.
    For him, not so much. Every one of us have struggles, but we need to overcome the biggest lie, and it becomes easier. The biggest lie of our society that we come first. That our own personal goals, struggles, happiness, joy (call it what you like, tayva) comes first.
    The point of Yiddishkeit, that it doesn’t. The point of mussar is to be able to suck it up. The point of Chassidus is to actually, truly and honestly enjoy.
    I wish we could help, I wish he would have step back and asked others that could have helped.
    Ad Matay? With The New Year of Chassidus fast approaching, please all of you, learn Chassidus, live Chassidus, it saves your lives.

  • 88. Nachman Sanowicz wrote:

    Matisyahoo

    It is time to think about the Matisyahoo in the story of Chanuka which we are going to celebrate shortly.

    The chashmenoim fought the many it was a fight of purity against impurity Torah against Evil.

    This fight continues raging within us as you well know from experience and you probably learnt Tanya.

    As Matisyahoo won the battle in chanuka hopefully the Matisyahu in you will win his battle.

    Hopefuly what you are doing is temporary and before Chanuka you will publicize another about face.

    Suggestion speak to your mashpia or rav.

  • 90. MY SUPPORT wrote:

    I support Matisyahu’s personal decision. Matisyahu is done so much good and has effect far many lives. Life is a journey not a destination. We all take different pasts. If Matisyahu felt Lubavitch or Yiddishkiet for that matter is something he no longer has any interest or personal connection to. Does not indicate ill within him but ill with us. Chabad, failed in its conveyance of yiddishkiet. We failed Matisyahu. We critisied his every move. Leading him further estranged from the general chabad movement. Why are we quick to judge. He never represented chabad. He was a man on a mission to do good, and HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED. There are many so called “Rabbi’s” in our community with long beards that are causing far greater harm. We need to support matisyahu. Support his passion for goodness and change. MAtisyahu, needs to be reminded we love and accept him for who he is and not whether he behaves in accordance with our communities cultural background. Looking forward to the upcoming Chanukah Concerts and year filled with amazing spiritual music. Matisyahu DREAM AWAKE.

  • 91. to 18 wrote:

    To be very frank with you a small community (under 300 Lubavitch families), is way more condusive to growth in ruchnius, and often in Gashmius as well. CH is so big and it’s hard to find enough people who genuinely care for you, but in smaller Lubavitch communities you will find that. Though now living in CH, I used to live in Chicago and it was waaay more condusive. Hatzlocho Rabbo. Stay strong.

  • 92. ze-ev ben david wrote:

    how can you hate him when he loved you regardless of facial hair, observance, religion and personal choices.

    maybe jesus wasn’t so wrong when he said love your neighbor as you love yourself….or maybe that was akiva

  • 93. Emergency counseling! wrote:

    Matis needs some emergency counseling soon!
    Many mildly frum people can chas vesholom fall back due to this.
    SOMEONE, ANYONE, Freeman, Boteach, get in touch with him – soon.
    Get him to grow a ‘stylish’ beard and payos.
    Klal Yisroel cannot absorb the fallout of this, chas vesholom.
    Let’s daven for him!
    Oy! His kids!!! (has his wife left him, prompting this?)
    —-
    Someone needs to explain to him that he will lose most of his Goyish followers as well. His strength to be religious was his main selling point even amongst the gentiles.

    He was likely turned off due to OUR petty machlokes.
    Let’s strive for sholom between us and merit Moshiach soon!
    Gevaaald!

  • 94. chaim wrote:

    What made his music jewish? for get about chasidish? Rapp can never become jewish or chassidish! His mesugas has turned many young lubavitch and other frum kids off the derech!!

  • 95. dear ch.info wrote:

    i am VERY dissappointed in you for posting this. this is purely trying to sabotage and spread lashon horah. everyone has their own struggles; although he may be looking for publicity, as lubavitchers who should be holding yourself to a higher standard, you should not be advertising this article. i am deeply sadened and wish anyone who needs a mental refua shelema, one right away.

  • 96. Paranoid RON PAULite wrote:

    AND THE PHOTO IS DOCTORED,

    1)THE BLURRING AROUND THE EDGES OF THE PHOTO IN NOT A NATURAL LENS EFFECT.

    2) LOOK AT THE PICTURES ABOVE…. LIGHTING ON THE NECK, THE LIGHT SOURCE IS ON DIFFERENT SIDES IN THE TWO PICS

    AND THE “GREYING” DOES NOT FIT WITH THE OVER ALL GREYNESS OF HIS CONCERT PIC…. OVERALL HIS SHAVED HAIR IS TOOO DARK, AS YOU CAN SEE THAT THER IS GRAYING ON THE SIDES BUT THE DUDE IS ENTIRELY GREY….
    4) BELIEVE HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE AND NOTHING WHAT YOU HEAR….

    9/11 MAY HAVE BEEN AN INSIDE JOB…. IT ALSO MAY NOT HAVE BEEN, TO SAY FOR CERTAIN IS TO SAY YOU ARE CERTAINLY A FOOL

  • 97. Chabad lite wrote:

    @71
    “Beard/no beard YOU ARE A CHILD OF HASHEM and chossid of the Rebbe – forever and always.”

    Child of Hashem yes, Chossid of the Rebbe no!
    You are part of whats wrong with Lubavitch today, accepting all and every level as a Chossid.
    No! we have standards and customs which one must live up to before one can use the title Chossid of the Rebbe!

  • 100. Dovid C. wrote:

    Matisyaho is a great guy who happens to be a public Figure, his wife is extremely nice.

  • 101. pure hearts wrote:

    let each of us look inside our own soul….are we not a mirror for each other? are we all not truly one as chassidus explains? each of us struggles in different ways….he is very high profile and the beard is very visible…where am I really holding? I look completely frum, I even think I am!…more than ever or anything, we need to hold to the best standard we can in each area and at the same time allow each other to grow, discover our personal relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, all the while loving and accepting and drawing each other close while being strong and mkushar as we can be…I believe it is wrong to post this picture and create a situation where everyone is taking potshots, on the other hand I guess people need to talk it out, but to reserve judgment until the facts are known…he is a wonderful person and has a wonderful family and he has done,is doing a lot of good, spreading a lot of light…even though the beard has such major significance, many mitzvah-observing Jews do not have beards and we need not be so quick to condemn…may Hashem help each and every one of us to serve Him with pure hearts and great ahavas chinum and let Him do the judging and send Moshiach now

  • 102. business not spiritual wrote:

    1. CR wrote:
    Wow, never saw THAT coming…
    …. why you never heard of Bob Dylan, these guys travel thru life and experiment different things to try to “”find themselfs“”….if its drugs its sad…. but he sounds more like a business decision not spiritual..so who cares

  • 103. lost world wrote:

    Poor All Of You and ME..is this all we have to do with our lives is read about the misfortunes, sadness, troubles of others. If that is not bad enough, we continue to malign, judge, and think we know what is best for them in life. Woe to all of US..

    Instead of saying what we think other’s should or should not do…why don’t we just sprnd our time saying Tehillim, Being Kind, And be grateful that we are the one’s whose life is an open book…or are we?? is this why we do this, so as not to see our own misery, failures and faults….

  • 105. CHT wrote:

    I agree to all the comments about Loshon Hora and Ahavas isroel. I am only having large regret that may kids got into his music (mainly because of my approval), because they will now get very bad message.

  • 106. Dalia wrote:

    We all have our struggles. He’s a jew trying to find himself who are we to judge?

  • 107. Levi wrote:

    I think this is a great opening for all of us that are growing our beards becouse we are afraid of being shunned by the crown heights community. I personally took off my beard today after seeing matisyahu .someone needed to finally break the ice and stop doing something for other people.

    Keep it up matisyahu
    I’m with you : )

  • 108. Matisyahu, come back home! wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watc

    Watch the whole video, very powerful, but to matisyahu, watch 6:40 to 8:00 in the video. Come back home!!! My heart aches for your inner turmoil you are experiencing but I suspect you still know and feel that Chassidus is your home. :(

  • 109. me wrote:

    To #4 where did the picture come from and to #18 stay strong. If you need to talk just let me know

  • 110. THE JUDGE wrote:

    wow interesting how everyone is fast to jump to conclusions very fast about someone. but you yourself have no problem with
    A- don’t judge your friend till you come to his place
    B- loshon hara

  • 111. Curious wrote:

    I am just curious has he given up orthodox judiasm altogether or just shaved off his beard? What about his family have they all adopted a new way of living?

  • 112. Feelings are not enough wrote:

    His Yiddishkeit was not based on limud HaTorah. As he himself put it.
    If there’s no Limud HaTorah it won’t last, feelings come & go.
    Since when is rap kosher ? It’s source is treif. Period..

  • 114. Aaron wrote:

    For all those people judging the guy, here is a thought to ponder, how honest and true to the Torah and basic Derech Eretz are you ? because you disguise yourself in fancy dress does that make your heart of hearts any better ? Here we have a man which wants his outer appearance to match his inner and all you can do is judge him ?

  • 115. still a yid and needs our help,have pity wrote:

    ok people hes still a yid after all. He needs help!! None of us should be happy and gloat. Daven for him. If you know him and can talk to him regularly now would be a good time to pick up the phone. Why is everyone so pissed off? Cause he was Chabad do we own him? Treat him as you would any yid gone off the derech try to bring him back.

  • 117. Yechi hamelech wrote:

    I personally think that what he did is good I don’t anyone should do anything that’s not them
    There are alot of people out there that have there beards to keep people happy and to keep people from looking bad at them after seeing this this morning I decided that I am tired of living a lie and growing my beard for someone else so I finally decided to take it off today an now I feel as if a massive rock has bin lifted off my shoulder and I feel GREAT !!!!

    Thank you matisyahu I hope other people will also see the truce and stop being scared and living a lie. Thank you it took alot of guts to do this

  • 118. Satmar wrote:

    Like many, I am shocked. But…
    I recall (30+ yrs ago) a Jewish doctor in Willy who wore a kappel (yarmulke) even in the hospital, but when he made a house visit to Willy he *removed* it!
    When questioned about it, he explained that he doesn’t want the sweet yiddish kinderlach to think that you can go to college/university/doctor and remain frum! Rather, he said, let them know that you can become a goy! The smart doc didn’t want to falsely impress heimishe children into taking his route!

    Possibly and hopefully Matis realizes that too many heimishe are following him and he knows that his destiny in life is to reach out to the real real lost souls. So he is putting up a sign for the chassidish crowd: DANGER! Don’t follow me!

    [Likewise] I know of chassidish people that were turned away by Reb Shloime Carlbach zt“l with a simple ”this is not for you” while at the same time he was mekarev the lost chassidish crowd.

    Let’s daven and hope for the best!

  • 119. IS THIS LUBAVITCH WEBSITE??? wrote:

    HELLO EVERYONE WHO HAS A NEGATIVE THING TO SAY… DID YOU YES YOU WHO WROTE SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT ANOTHER DEAR YID. WHY ARE YOU SO QUICK TO JUDGE? HAVE YOU GONE MIVTZOIM LATELY? DO YOU TALK LIKE THIS ABOUT A STRANGER YOU MEET ON A CITY STREET? IS THIS HOW YOU WOULD TALK TO YOUR NON-FRUM RELATIVE? (WHICH A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF CHABAD FAMILIES HAVE AT LEAST ONE)HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT ANOTHER YID LIKE THIS? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! THIS IS NOT CHABAD PHILOSOPHY? WE NEVER PUSH SOMEONE AWAY! THE FRUM WORLD CHALLENGED THE REBBE ON THIS TOPIC AND ONLY YEARS LATER THE FRUM WORLD CHAPT WHAT THE REBBE WAS TALKING ABOUT. ALWAYS MEKAREV SOMEONE AND THE WORD MEKAREV MEANS BRING CLOSER NEVER PUSH AWAY. YISROEL AF AL PI CHECHATA YISROEL HU!

  • 120. OVERLY JUDGMENTAL wrote:

    AFFTER READING ALL OF YOUR OVERLY JUDGMENTAL COMMENTS, I NO LONGER WONDER WHY MATISYAHU DISASSOCIATE HIMSELF FROM CHABAD

  • 123. to 107 wrote:

    Though I dont know who you are (unless I do, you left out last name), your comment made me very sad and my heart aches for you. I hope you re-infuse yourself with a high dose of torah and chassidus and then the chitzoniusdik part of being a chossid wouldn’t be much of an avodah. Shona toivah b’limudei v’darkei hachassidus.

  • 124. Shaving in the bottle wrote:

    I hate two things:

    1. This is in Wall Street Journal, TMZ.com and etc.
    2. I got into this crap, and was greatly encouraged by, the possibility of being Hassidic in most impossible for this environment.

    Everything else are personal matters.
    Just one personal request to anyone who shaves – can you please shave without a message. Thank you.

  • 125. From Matisyahu Facebook Page wrote:

    Matisyahu:

    “For all of those who are being awesome, you are awesome. For all those who are confused: today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday”

  • 126. don-t judge wrote:

    don’t judge
    anyone who would be exposed to the environment that Matty was ,would have fallen many years ago
    i was surprised how he was still frum, it was impossible!
    this guy is sincere now, he was also sincere before, he trusted himself so much
    i know many ppl who fried out in other ways (stealing,abuse ,and worse things) but they keep kapota, bird and “shabbos”
    Moshiach now!

  • 127. I feel bad for his wife and kids.... wrote:

    As I read this article.. All I can think is “that its soo sad for his wife.. she is such a nice person… does he realize that by doing this he is ruining his wife, kids and his marriage?

  • 130. MendelS wrote:

    We all have are unique journey, as several people have wrote
    you cant put yourself in someone else shoes, I heard a great statement by a young rabbi at shabbos fabragen gulus is a
    dream, we can dream are way out of galus. Good luck Matisyahu
    and all yidden on your unique journey.

  • 131. mb wrote:

    to comment # 4 — this pics come fromt he TMZ website – did they post whats untrue here – doubt it

  • 132. We-re just doing GREAT!!!!!!!! wrote:

    #73 I totally agree with you
    #74 use your talent for better things somewhere else, here you’re just pathetic
    to the rest…….. why do u judge him? who are we to judge?
    at least he’s honest about it, not like A LOT of people here in CH pretending to be chasidish and go around doing really messed up things
    why don’t these people need help, counseling, etc etc?? just because they’re not famous?
    people, RESPECT is the word he’s as Jewish as Rabbi Osdoba or the lady that asks for tzedaka and then curses at you.
    chs why don’t u stop judging? and speaking lashon hara? I bet my life that there’s not a single person here without skeletons in their closets, it might not be beards, Im sure there are worse things…..
    So just SHUT UP and WORK on yourselves
    The Abishter doesnt care what do all of u think about matis choices, He cares about what we think about ourselves and what we do to be BETTER

  • 133. Esty B wrote:

    I don’t know much about this Matisyahu as a musician. I guess he is struggling and lost. I hope he isn’t just trying to start attention-getting from shaving so publically. And, I hope he talked to his wife first so it wasn’t a surprise. She will have to be strong to show their children the right way. With help from Hashem, he can still find his way back to chassidish and Yiddishkeit.

  • 135. C.R. wrote:

    One of the saddest parts of all of this is that other young people will look to Mattisyahu for the “courage” to do the same. As I see it,I don’t think he intended his action to be perceived as “courageous.” it was simply a visible expression of his increasing detachment from frumkeit – by anyone’s standards.I doubt for example, that a “Modern” orthodox yungerman would have posted the “grape-lady” ad that Mattisyahu posted. It’s anyone’s guess what rung of the proverbial ladder Mattisyahu is standing on right now, but one thing is obvious:he’s not headed up.For all those young men who delude themselves into thinking that shaving off one’s beard is “merely” removing one’s “When- in- Rome- do- as- the- Romans- do” facial hair and acheiving a more modern “look,” please be introspectively honest with yourselves: It’s an act of divesting one’s self of far more than one’s beard,and most often results in spiraling downward spiritually.

  • 136. Disappointed...with comments wrote:

    As a BT, I am absolutely DISGUSTED with all of the judging that goes on in Crown Heights. Everyone is judged based on external factors AND NOTHING ELSE!!! This is seriously causing me tremendous doubts about the religion to the point that I’m not sure how much longer I can be observant. I’m losing the inspiration. Just look at how much the community thrives on controversy, and “pitying” the “poor” wife and kids! Those are the articles that get the most comments, of course. What I found to be true is that many people in Crown Heights will try to get you to be religious (no, not religious, observant, because those are not necessarily equivalent since it’s more about the appearance than who you are inside) then once you have certain doubts or are not sure you’re ready for the “acceptable” standards, unfortunately many look down on you.

    The point is, STOP JUDGING when you see bits and pieces of someone’s life. You don’t know the reasons behind their actions.

    With that said, there are absolutely wonderful, open hearted (as well as open-minded) people with only purest intentions living in CH. Too bad there aren’t too many of them, and I’m sure those aren’t the ones sitting and waiting for controversy to comment about.

  • 137. This isn-t real. wrote:

    I think it looks photoshopped. Probably some kind of marketing gimik…. No way that’s real.

  • 140. Dovid Hamelech wrote:

    Interesting, all you people who are speaking loshon hara in the name of tsnius and kedusha and ‘protecting our neshomos’.
    Loshon Hara is Loshon Hara whether or not it’s true.
    That’s pretty darn dissonant isn’t it, when you are so confused about tzidkus that in name of the purity of your neshoma, you b’shmutz your neshoma by speaking lashon hara?
    wake up yidden
    remember who we are deep inside
    and let the light shine
    it’s almost chanuka!

  • 141. haters wrote:

    to everyone saying you saw this coming shame on you! the rebbe would be very unhappy to hear this pessimism!!!

  • 142. Defenders wrote:

    Tell me all the valiant defenders of Matisyahu which frum jew goes to female massuese and then brags about it? To what say you art thy my friend?

    Matisyahu
    My homegirl @dr_dot is the best massuese in NYC. Hands down. Check her out.
    18 hours ago
    and then then the massuese tweeted this:
    Dr. Dot
    Just done massaging Matisyahu for three hours. Talented singer and amazing person. Can’t wait to see his Nyc shows this month. Loves!
    5 Dec

  • 143. MaDDinBklyn wrote:

    Wow, almost 140 comments, someone shaves their beard and all of a sudden Crown Heights has an opinion. Sad.

  • 144. s.e. wrote:

    I don’t get all the guilt over the shortcoming of our community – all of which are true- since when are other peoples mistakes, however horrible or hypocritical, a reason for anyone else to do what they are not supposed to do? Can ppl only down CH 24/7? Don’t make excuses for him or yourselves.
    As far as what is really going in with him we don’t know. I heard he is actually doing pretty well so if you really care, how about say a kapitle tehillim and do what the Rebbe taught us to do- add in goodness and kindness. Period.

  • 145. almost over wrote:

    Why is everyone sad you can’t stay frum doing what he did.

    Mattisyahu has to learn from Yosef Hatzadik

  • 146. no religious jew wrote:

    i find it amazing that a non religious Jew who served in the Israeli army can see what horrible things are being said about a person who none of you know and have no idea what he is going through and just because he cut off his beard doesn’t mean he isn’t Jewish or “frum” as all of you conceded hypocritical people call him.how dare you all judge a man who you know nothing about? you people should be ashamed of yourself’s.going around criticizing and spending your time judging and spreading L”H about him.i find it sickening that you people can go around spreading and talking about rumors when the fact of the matter is what you people are doing right now is worse then anything hes done or will do shame on all of you.

  • 147. trewJew:D wrote:

    Honestly. I love Matisyahu and his music and for me, personally it is spiritually uplifting. Just because crownheights decides to post a terrible article doesn’t mean you should all believe it and hence think badly of him. A jew is a jew weather “religious” or not, everyone has there ups and downs and truly we don’t even know the reasoning behind it so we shouldn’t even jump to such horrid conclusions. I still think he is an amazing person and musician!

  • 148. Please, shave without a message wrote:

    now on mnsbc, washington post, abc, cnn, wall street journal, E! online – more and more and more.

    Why cannot he quietly fall off from top news such as Salita but just simply remain as one of us – with hair treatment as personal matter. Is asking for so much attention to career fall to help revive popularity.

  • 149. From Matisyahu wrote:

    “For all of those who are being awesome, you are awesome. For all those who are confused: today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday.”

  • 150. bb wrote:

    alot of you are showing where you’re at, and its not complimentary. This public forum is really subway-like, and its not great.
    Such negativity. Would the Rebbe say some of those negative comments?
    Yes, alot of people look(ed?) up to him and its not a great scene, but really, you make it sound like he’s a criminal.
    He’s a good human being (I mean, do you really know what mitzvos he has done? NO, you don’t, that is HaKadosh Boruch Hu’s cheshbon……ISNT IT?)
    grow up, think before you share your words and thoughts, and remember that all which you do and say, have cosmic impact ultimately. Have faith in yourself, your words ARE important. If they are foolish words, then you are reducing yourself to less important than you really are.
    and that goes for all the other times you will comment in these forums, too.

  • 151. ronnie g wrote:

    bal tshuva =weird.Why would someone want to give up their daily life to a restricted life ,unless they are born with it ,I never understood totally weird.Lubavitch was once a Chassidus ,they dressed like other Chassidish women ,then came the outreach & one took from the other a little ,Tznius became a thing of the past,just walk through Crown Heights those girls are chassidish ,how many wear stockings ,full head covering ,no slits ,its one big joke.Longer hair for guys are looked aside ,you call that Chassidish .I am not saying Chabad does not do wonderful work ,however they have no use or time for other observant Jews.Still love Chabad because of them Kosher food is available anywhere & 95% of the shluchim are Tzadikim ,genuine & wonderful people.

  • 152. tsk.tsk. wrote:

    the worst enemy to the jew, is the jew itself.
    shame on you crownheights and all you misguided yidim.

  • 153. To 133 & Complainers about Judgmental wrote:

    How can anyone compare a high profile case (and issue!) like this to ‘judging’ someone. We need not get in his shoes, we are not speaking LH, and this has nothing to do with ‘bad’ things in CH! (Hey! CH is still a GREAT place!)

    If Matis were running for President, would it be LH to discuss the pros and cons of voting for him? Would it be judgmental? Would we be bad people for negative opinions on today’s shocking story? What happened today (hopefully temporarily!) affects hundreds of thousands of OUR youth!
    This is MORE important than running for president!
    This is a spiritual issue! We need to discuss this without getting sidetracked! So, please, all mussar people, please don’t be so judgmental with us commentators! Don’t spoil the flow of the main conversation here. You are injecting so much bad taste into this. Let people discuss the issue, please!

    Now, back to the main issue. We need a minyan to go to the Ohel..pronto. Tell the Rebbe to daven and let us daven as well for ha’tzadik Matis, Favish Heshel. There are great days ahead for us. With Hashem’s mercy we will have Matis back very soon!

  • 155. leave religion wrote:

    at the end of the day, it doesn’t pay to be religious. Matisyahu proves that even after trying out this so called “right path,” he still doesn’t want it. lesson of the day: bum out.

  • 157. To #48 Lashon Hara even if widely known wrote:

    I am writing to correct your misleading comment- The truth is that if a piece of Lashon Hara is widely known it is STILL Lashon Harah. Please re-check the halachos. If you think it’s necessary to address any issue by further publicizing you can ask a Rabbi. But the law is, even if it is well publicized, Torah prohibits passing on the information. Again, this is not about this article but about a very important fact in halacha that would save many people in Crown Heights much anguish. We have to learn to shut up.

  • 158. I can-t see your list on your face. wrote:

    After doing teshuvah through Chabad and devoting his life to this way he still wanted to integrate his passions. All he got from the very beginning was criticism for every move he makes to even more backstabbing talk and then evil eyes when davening in a suit and jacket in 770. If the place I loved and called home hurt me so damn deeply I would want to leave and pull away any trace that aligned me with them. These comments against him are even hurting him and pushing him away now. I know the Millers personally. I saw the sh*t they got from this place. BH let him connect to G-d the way he wants to, it’s better than nothing at all! Now, go and take a look in the mirror and really look deep inside and take an account of every mitzvah you didn’t do willingly. I bet you have a list even if we can’t visibly see it on your face.

    I doubt that anybody else in our position would be able to hold themselves within ‘Hollywood standards’. His test is nothing that we could ever imagine. BH he is Kosher, Shomer Shabbos, his children go to Jewish Schools. Is having a beard or not or wearing the levushim really a measuring stick to a person’s level of Judaism? I have met people who dress like the holiest of holiest, I would be terrified to be in a dark ally with them. Clothes don’t make the man.

  • 160. sarah wrote:

    im not lubavitch, my father is a hot head who has issues wth everyone not like him most off with lubavitch and chabad- i always thought of him as a hater. growing up i went to school my best friends father was an ex lubab as he called himself and one thing he tols me always kept the message of loving a fellow jew thats is the rebbas main teaching to travel anywhere and help a wandering jew, this has always inspired me as opposed to attitude if they dont look like me they shouldnt be here chabads about bulding jewish life loving peace and kindness no?

  • 161. stop all this bull wrote:

    so he took off his beard… he’s still religous!!! not everyone holds that it’s halacha… stop judging!!!! this is chabad???? talking bad about ppl? everyone look at your self and judge your self and untill u become perfect stop judging others!!! and 4real start learning chofetz chaim on lashon harah- o sorry it’s not chabad… you too good for it? i can c that loshan harah on a wesite.

  • 162. wrote:

    totally do not agree with 8 but with 155 kind of buttt there realy is something wrong

  • 163. #53 where is your love of a Jew wrote:

    #53 what is so bad? don’t you care about the welfare of a fellow Jew?! you are sad.

  • 164. to #155 wrote:

    This guys hurt us badly by making message out of his shaving – there is no hate for whatever stepping out is happening, but turning this into message is really bad for us, he let us down because we looked after him as a symbol of Hasidic self-esteem, he should have done it quietly. You personally, then you shave you don’t post a picture, right. Enter Matisyahu on google/news, imagine for a second you are Hassid – and you will get the picture.

  • 165. Zally wrote:

    I assume this is a hoax, and I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt until ‘proven’ otherwise, and no a “tweet” is not proof.
    Besides, the picture looks years old.

    Either way, in response to the supposed reason he posted…

    Judaism is less about religiosity as it is about affecting positivity in the world around us.
    Judaism is a priesthood (to humanity).

    This said, I wouldn’t classify myself as frum following it’s traditional meaning.

    However, I represent Torah and the initiative of Judaism first and foremost in the views I espouse and in the image I present to every person who beholds me.

    Why would I grow a full beard, wear a yarmulka and tzitzis etc?

    Because to an on-looker who is none the wiser, I represent Torah and this alone can strengthen them.

    While I may have personal failings, why should I prevent someone else from appreciating a walking reminder of spirituality, morality & harmony.

    After-all, Judaism is not a self-centered initiative, on the contrary, we do everything we do because it benefits others.

    Judaism is the greatest initiative for humanity.
    Representing Judaism is the greatest initiative for Judaism.

    One Love for ALL

  • 167. a fan wrote:

    dont care if it is true or not. what is important is that he is living his truth and hopefully that is in line with the real truth. the real truth is him making his best choices. no-one has a right to judge anyone, only Hashem. Matisyahu, i look forward to more awesome music. i love your music. keep it coming you are awesome and you know you are too. keep moving closer to the light man.

  • 168. Respect wrote:

    He had the guts to be honest.
    Raw, complicated, multidimensional, and honest.

  • 169. To #118 wrote:

    Wouldn’t it have been far more positive and inspiring to have shown children that one can be educated AND frum?

  • 170. it is very clear to me what happened wrote:

    allow me to explain:
    there are two kinds of chassidishkiet-
    1. Healthy chassidishkiet- a person is grounded and knows who he is; chassidishkiet is how he expresses his true being
    2. Unhealthy chassidishkiet- a person who is in self-denial and unable to face his problems; chassidishkiet is his tool for escaping his issues and making him feel artificially good about himself

    – Matisyahu was clearly the latter form of chassidishkiet. he has to press the restart button, first heal his emotional wounds and then he can return to proper chassidishkiet as well. That is what this is about in my opinion.

  • 171. mendy sacho wrote:

    it says in Pirkei Avot

    Judge every person favorably“ (1:6)
    ”Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place.” (2:5)

    just saying…..

  • 172. to #157 about # 155 wrote:

    i grew up in a Lubavitch religious home my grandfather played chess with the rebbe and even though i am not religious at this time i still have respect for my fellow Jew and the decisions they make and i don’t go around criticizing them when it comes down to it whether hes famous or not hes his own person and is entitled to do whats best for him we need to love our fellow Jew because if we don’t well all be destroyed so take a good look at yourself in the mirror and not at others.

  • 174. we should be ashamed of ourselves wrote:

    I dont understand why the gloaters are so happy. Like yay its our comeuppance. We lived to see Matisyahu’s downfall. People its a tragedy this poor guy is a wreck spiritually and falling to bits in front of millions and all we have is a bunch of idiotic gloaters cheering and jeering. All you gloaters should be ashamed. This is not a success for Chabad its an abysmal failure. Maybe take a little responsibility for his failure like you did for his success. Chabad is only good at taking credit but when one of their own goes off the derech he’s an “oisvarf” right?

  • 175. Misyuvin wrote:

    At the end of the day, I have one thing to say:

    Who cares?

    If you like his music, listen. If you don’t, don’t.

  • 176. shneur chriqhi and mendy israel wrote:

    your such an idiot for shaving your beard
    everybody liked you until now
    YOU SUCK YOU

    now we can say your an atheist

  • 177. Writing from the Shtachim in EYisrael wrote:

    For all the wonderful things that the Shluchim do, this message board proves why all the normal BT’s leave Chabad these days….We learn one thing from the Sforim and then get to CHeights/Kfar Chabad and see something totally different.
    LIVE YOUR CHASSIDUS! IT’s almost Yud Tet Kislev, what is Hashem telling you/testing you with this news?!
    I understand why his shaving is sad to many of you because of what he represents in the public light, but that is not what you are expressing. Most of these messages are pure hatred. You are all bored!
    Back to Likutei Mohoran….

  • 178. Rebbe-s Own Reaction to a Chosid Shaving wrote:

    It is informative to consider how the Rebbe himself reacted when he saw a chosid (who did not come from a Lubavitcher background) who shaved off his beard. [The following translation of the Rebbe’s letter was prepared by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger].

    Translation of a Letter from the Rebbe (Igros Kodesh VI pg. 285):

    29 Av, 5712,

    Brooklyn.

    Greetings and blessings,

    For a person like yourself, it is surely unnecessary to elaborate on the concept explained in many places in Chassidus, and also in works of Mussar: that a divine blessing [“arousal from above”] requires a fit vessel, appropriate effort on man’s part [an “arousal from below”]. It is absolutely obvious that one should not initiate something that runs directly contrary to the “arousal from above” for which one is [requesting and] praying.

    [In light of the above,] How shocked was I to see you[r appearance] in the office of the Merkos Le’Inyonei Chinuch, that you labored and compelled your divine soul to remove, Heaven forfend, the “Image of G-d” from your face, by cutting and removing the thirteen fixtures of the beard, which correspond to the thirteen pathways of divine mercy! They are the channels for one’s livelihood, as is explained in the Zohar and in Chassidus in several places. Elaboration upon this is unnecessary, especially for one who hails from the Sephardic community who have held fast to the study of the Zohar for all time. There, no opposition ever existed to it, as did exist in several places in earlier days among the Ashkenazim.

    It is difficult and burdensome for me to elaborate upon this. Surely these lines will suffice. I give you the benefit of the doubt that perhaps your intention [in cutting your beard] was as follows: You have seen and contemplated the statement of our Sages that earning one’s livelihood is as difficult as splitting the Red Sea.[1][1] It, therefore occurred to you that perhaps it is worthwhile to assist the A-lmighty (Who sustains [all creatures] from the eggs of lice until the horns of the wild ox[2][2]) in His task by causing your outward appearance to resemble the gentiles. This would then make it easier for you to be given a rabbinical position, or the like.

    However, even one who is not intelligent will easily understand that this is contrary to simple faith: to suggest that laxity in observance of the mitzvos of the Torah—i.e., distancing oneself from the Source [of life]—will bring the person to be granted a large flow of blessing. You should study in-depth that which is explained concerning [the verse], “[He will bless himself in his heart, saying, ‘Peace will be with me, though I follow the caprices of my heart] adding the watered to the thirsty.”[3][3]

    It is my firm hope that the efforts that my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory invested in you as his student and his Chossid will assist you to leave behind the aforementioned mistaken thinking. If the hand of someone else is enticing you [to cut your beard], then explain to him as well that such conduct is contrary not only to divine intellect, but also to human intellect. For every Jew believes that G-d is the Master, even of this physical and coarse world. He and only He is the one to allocate sustenance to a person and his family. Thus, the human effort [“arousal from below”] should also be consistent with this.

    From one who awaits good news and blesses you with spiritual and material success, which, for a Jewish man and woman, go hand in hand,

    [The Rebbe’s Signature]

    PS: Our Nesi’im have elaborated upon [the prohibition of] cutting one’s beard: Tzemach Tzedek, Shu”t Yoreh Dei’ah, 93. Tzemach Tzedek, Chiddushim leMakkos, ch. 3. Piskei Dinim on Yoreh Dei’ah, 181, sec. 2. Derech Mitzvosecha, 2:221b. In the book known as Amudei Arazim of Rabbi Margolis of Yerushalayim, towards the end he compiled the opinions of the later rabbinical authorities, etc., concerning all the above.

  • 181. help wrote:

    We all need help from Hashem. Question is who knows he does and who doesn’t…

  • 183. Publicity stunt all the way. wrote:

    I think it is a publicity stunt. Sales of records slow, new album coming out – needs a scandal to increase sale records and announce new records. From his publicist point of view – brilliant. According to him and judging from the feedback and news coverage this was the best marketing stunt he pulled as of yet. Think about it – now his name has reached tons more people.
    As far as marketing goes – excellent.

  • 184. THE BRIGHT SIDE :) wrote:

    BS’’D
    Matisyahu, If you are reading this, it is really nice to know you are still frum. All of these comments came only in a desperate attempt to keep you where you belong because of a terrible misunderstanding. There is no Cherem on you, nor on your music. You are a Yid, and guys dont take what he says so heavily! Maybe it was his fame that was bothering him, maybe he needed a break to be someone nobody recognized, and once himself return with more chassidiskeit as the great Elriche Yid he will always be!

  • 185. mmmm wrote:

    This doesnt make me happy, but guys, there are SO MANY frum Jews that dont have beards. He posted on his twitter, went to mikva and shul just like yesterday…so yeah, he doesnt have a beard, that doesnt mean he is not a frum jew anymore…dont be so quick to judge

  • 186. chabad is a philosophy,a cosid personal wrote:

    just bc there are some out in chabad who dont think, and sometimes say stupid things, dose not mean that that is what chabad is. a cosid is somethink that noone can say what it is as it is between master and student. chabad is a good way of life, pepole dont make chabad,our teachers and thier writings do.

  • 187. feed back tells all wrote:

    it makes me wonder!!! look at the comments on his homepage and then look at the ones here. over there they are peacefull and acsepting, over here not so. why would he not what that over this. December 14, 2011 8:33 pm

  • 188. Give me a break.... wrote:

    I think it’s funny how they are 185 (now 186 including this one) comments on this guy shaving his beard, but in the previous article, in which a “suspicious” fire was set in the Rebbe’s shul, has 9 comments. Priorities?

  • 189. jeremy wrote:

    that’s eight folks “no more disguise” because that’s all it is. Believe in yourselves the same way that Avreham Avinu did.

  • 190. steve wrote:

    All you negative comment people are so self centered, as if know-one can do any good except if one dresses and talks and does everything that everyone else in the ‘heimesha” world does. Get over yourselves, hashem is alot greater and bigger then your little imaginations.

  • 191. jeremy wrote:

    WOW what A bunch of bitter people, Hashem Yeracheim if another Jew wants to follow his own path and believe in himself. Whats with all this negative commenting? why do you all think that you know where someone else should be on their personal journey of getting close to hashem.

  • 192. steve wrote:

    reply to # 7
    the Gemarah says that this world is upside down, meaning what we thing is up many times is really down, and what we think is “down” many times is up..so dont judge others, worry about yourself.

  • 193. interesting... wrote:

    uhhh im pretty sure shwekey doesnt have a beard… why is it ok to listen to him??

  • 194. Is a beard halacha or minhag? wrote:

    In various comments, differing statements were made regarding whether maintaining a beard is required according to halacha.

    Following is how our Rebbe explained the issue in a letter printed in Likutei Sichos (vol. XII, pg. 206; Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXII, pg. 490 ):

    “With regard to maintaining a full beard: It is obvious that, according to all opinions, there is positive religious significance to such an act. The differences of opinion [among the Rabbis] involve only whether leniency can be granted due to perceived duress and whether the prohibition is Scriptural or Rabbinic.

    ”It is, however, obvious according to the revealed tradition of Torah Law – and to an even greater degree according to the Torah’s inner, mystic dimensions – that the tikkunei diknah (as they are referred to by the Zohar and the texts of Kabbalah which are accepted with the full authority of the Oral Torah [and which obligate] every member of the Jewish community) possess exceedingly great degree of holiness. [The manner in which] the Holy One, blessed be He, [relates to man] is measure for measure. Man’s measure ([letting] his tikkunei diknah [grow]) will draw down the corresponding quality [of holiness and blessing] from Above, as it were.

    “It is certainly significant that everyone acknowledges – and refers to [the beard] with – the term “the image of G-d [Tzelem Elokim].”

    ”According to the Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek and many halachic authorities who preceded him and followed him, [trimming the beard] involves a clear Scriptural prohibition, as he explains in his responsa, and with further elaboration in his Piskei Dinim. See also Darchei Teshuvah to Yoreh Deah and the collection of responsa, Minchas Elazar, Vol. II, sec. 48. Several perspectives – both according to the revealed tradition of Torah Law and according to the Torah’s inner, mystic dimensions – are comprehensively collected in the sefer Amudei Arazim (Jerusalem), by R. Margolis. He cites wondrous and awe-inspiring points both with regard to growing the beard and its opposite. He also includes a letter from the Rogatchover Gaon (R. Yosef Rosen) which states that this [the cutting the beard with scissors] is an outright prohibition [“Issur Gomur”].”

  • 195. Is a beard chassidic or basic Torah wrote:

    Many comments imply that maintaining a beard is a “chassidic” practice and not required by universally accepted Torah standards.

    Is this an accurate statement?

    Following is an authoritative statement regarding this issue from the leading “gadol” of the non-Chassidic world today, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, in his sefer Orchos Yosher (chapter entitled: “Hadras Ponim”):

    “The Talmud (Shabbos 152a) states: “[The term] hadras ponim — the splendor of the countenance — refers to a beard.”…

    ”Throughout our history, it was considered extremely disgraceful for anyone not to have a beard. It is only in recent generations that some have started to treat this [mitzvah] irreverently, having learned this from the non-Jews.

    “Targum Yonoson states that one who commits this transgression violates the prohibition: “A man shall not wear woman’s dress.” This applies even if he trims his beard using scissors.

    ”Sefer HaChinuch also follows this view and adds that one [who does so] also violates the prohibition: “You shall not follow their statutes.” This is quoted by the Chofetz Chayim in his Sefer HaMitzvos HaKotzer (negative commandment 177).

    “Our teacher the Chazon Ish was highly displeased with this practice. [Needless to say, his displeasure was] not [stirred] by the shaving machines commonly used today alone, about which the Chofetz Chayim had already written (Likkutei Halochos, Makkos 21b in Ein Mishpot 7) that using them violates the prohibition: “Do not mar the corners of your beard.” [For] the Chazon Ish ruled very stringently concerning shaving machines of all kinds. He did not permit selling such a machine even to a Jew who shaves with a razor, in order to save him from the prohibition of using a razor and, instead, instructed [the inquirer] to sell it to a non-Jew.

    ”My father and teacher, [Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon], of blessed memory, also ruled very stringently about this matter, saying it is very likely that [a shaving machine] is considered as halachically equivalent to a razor. Thus one violates five prohibitions when using it.

    “Similarly, our teacher, the Gaon Rabbi Elozor Menachem M. Shach, writes: “Regarding shaving the beard with an electric shaver, refer to Likkutei Halochos on tractate Makkos by the Chofetz Chayim, p.14b in Ein Mishpot. There he writes that it is forbidden and that one should not be lenient in this. It is also known that the Chazon Ish, of blessed memory, prohibited using any such machine.”

    ”[Beyond this, the Chazon Ish] was highly displeased even with those who remove facial hair using a depilatory cream — called in Hebrew sam [a chemical].

    “The Chofetz Chayim wrote an entire work on this subject called Tiferes Odom, where he writes: “It is proper to take care not to trim the beard even with scissors, for the Kabbalists write that thereby one uproots the channels of kedushah, holiness, that flow from Above. Our fathers and ancestors in our land were accustomed to strictly [practice the mitzvah of not trimming the beard]. Especially today when many of the unrestrained elements of our nation shave with a razor, it is a great mitzvah for the entire Jewish people to [counterbalance those acts and] reinforce their own observance, refraining from trimming the beard even with scissors. This shows everyone that the commandments the Torah has given us to distinguish a Jewish man [from a non-Jew] are precious to us and that we are not ashamed of them, G d forbid….

    ”In Kovetz Igros (volume I, #197), our teacher, the Chazon Ish, writes about the sam [depilatory cream]: “If it is not a sam hamoves [poison], it is certainly not a sam hachayim [lifegiving potion]. This matter is very difficult for me to bear, for it runs contrary to the [Jewish] quality of modesty and it is not the Jewish style of dress. Instead, [the Jews] have learned it from the non-Jews during their exile, thereby negating holiness.”

    “In another letter (#198) he [the Chazon Ish] writes: “I have never been comfortable with the behavior of those who remove their beards with close-cutting scissors, for I am accustomed to this being regarded as prohibited as was the practice in the previous generation. [The prohibition] was regarded as very severe — like walking in the street with one’s head uncovered — and was considered like changing one’s clothing from the Jewish style of dress. Although this sickness has spread even among Torah scholars, may they be well, the issue has not changed as a result of this, and therefore my soul burns with rage because of this practice.”

    ”He [the Chazon Ish] said that when someone who removes his beard or grows his hair long comes to see him, he feels so sick that he almost vomits….”

    This ends the quotation from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita.
    May G d give us the privilege of observing the Jewish appearance according to the Torah’s requirements.

  • 196. me- not chabad!!!! TG wrote:

    n who cares if hes religous or not… for g-d sakes leave the man alone and let him live… you live your life n he will live his… does everyone got2 take responsibility for other, since whjen do ppl care so much?

  • 197. CHer wrote:

    All the comments here are proof that the Lubavitch style of accepting people with love is nothing but a PR campaign at Chabad Houses. I’ve lost count of how many BTs I have had this rude awakening after living in Crown Heights.

    Start examining your priorities people. Your women prance down Kingston Ave with slits up to their thights and makeup that looks like it was put on by a prostitute. Your kids are texting on Shabbos, sneaking into Manhattan to go to clubs, and walking around singing the same Shmutz as the goyim. You got plenty of stuff to worry about.

    And THIS is what you’re spending your energy on? If you think your reaction to him is one that will bring him back, you are very mistaken. Why would he now that he sees what you really think?

    Or does it bother you that this publicity is bad PR for Chabad, because he expresses a sentiment that many of your own children are feeling too…and so it feels easier to lash out at him than to lash out at the people closest to you who are doing the same thing.

    Instead of staying in your anger, break it down and you’ll see that this incident brings to light some issues we’d rather not think about in our community.

  • 198. Look in the mirror wrote:

    To #197 – from your comment it seems you must live in Crown Heights too.

  • 199. Is there a valid heter to shave ? wrote:

    Since many readers have expressed their personal opinions as to whether maintaining a beard is “din” or “minhag” or “chassidus” please consider how the Rebbe Rashab responded to this question in a proclamation he addressed to the entire Klal Yisroel [For the original Hebrew, see the Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rashab, vol. II p.527] :

    Important Announcement

    “To our Jewish brethren, ”believers, children of believers“:

    ”Since there are many who permit themselves to cut their beards with scissors, basing it on what is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch and declaring that they are acting thus in accordance with the Halacha as stated in Shulchan Aruch –

    “It is our obligation to announce publicly that they are in error, for this is absolutely prohibited (Isur Gomur) according to the Torah itself (Midorayso), as many of the earlier and later Torah giants (Rishonim and Achronim) have proven and clarified that those doing this transgress several Torah prohibitions (Kamo Lav’vin)…[here the Rebbe Rashab cites several source references].

    ”Everyone is obligated to inform his family members of this severe prohibition (Isur Chomur) so that it not be a root for growth of [spiritual] decay from his family. Everyone should be aware that all the issues about which we wrote were stated in accordance with the dictate of our holy Torah (Daas Torah), and whoever transgresses this should know that the sin is upon his head. And whoever listens to our words here shall be blessed with abundant blessings for all good forever. “

    [For the original Hebrew, see the Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rashab, vol. II p.527] .

  • 200. Australia wrote:

    As a Lubavitch female and grandmother on the other side of the world, it is hard for me to reconcile the way people express themselves and comment on another person with the way shluchim in my city behave and how they encourage others to behave. Perhaps Crown Heights needs shluchim too.

  • 201. Dvir Yaakov wrote:

    For those of you condemning Matisyahu… perhaps you should consider you may be in a much worse place than him. Matis does not sit in judgment of anyone. He spreads love of our fellow man and love of G-d… is there nothing more important to G-d than this? Who are you to judge?! Is this what Torah teaches us? Is this what The Rebbe would do?

    We must pray for Matis just like we must pray for all yidden and all of humanity.

    Life and emunah has its ups and downs. Matis took a road most of us have not taken because we simply have not had the opportunity. To begin to think we know what he is going thru and what he has experienced is ludicrous.

    Have some of you forgotten that sometimes HaShem takes us to the depths in order for us to gather others to bring back up with us?

    Pray for him! Pray for yourselves!

  • 202. 11 year old wrote:

    he is still a good Jew and we still have to love him just the same as you love him with all your hart and to all tho’s how say bad it get’s god real mad so learn from me only 11 cuss something teals me that you are not the rite thing

  • 204. Elena wrote:

    I am not a Jew but I love Matisyahu’s songs, music, message, culture, beliefs, and also his former look.

    That beard was kind of peace-giving to look at.

    I also loved to see the chords going down from the sides of his trousers. Also a peace-giving sight.

    I am sorry he changed so much, but I understand that he is just a human, like anyone else, so he also goes through periods of internal trouble.

    If G-d rejected and spat on anyone who had a doubt or a troubled sould, noone would be able to stand before G-d to speak ot a prayer.

    G-d is G-d and we are just men, also Matisyahu.

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