… and Tel Aviv
Matisyahu, the Hassidic Reggae Superstar will be playing 4 shows in Israel, 2 in Tel Aviv (Dec. 6-7) and 2 in Jerusalem (Dec. 8 and 10). Click here for details and ticket ordering info. Should be fun. Unless it becomes the shana aleph event of the season. And then I’ll probably have to kill someone. Or get stoned. But I am pretty certain Matisyahu wouldn’t approve of either option.


Well, check out this neat clip of Matisyahu live. If you can’t be in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, don’t worry – he tours like a man possessed and is sure to be in your neck of the woods shortly.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • I am rockin’ out to the man right now! I hear you are booking him for the Jewlicious@TheBeach2 Conference in Long Beach? Is this a vicious rumor or could it be true?

  • Can someone point me to a proper MP3 download or mail to me of this dude? I have not heard enough to form an opinion, just the snips here and there are insufficient.

  • His shows are often posted for download on etree: You’d down load them with Bit Torrent, but it’s good stuff. As long as your checking out etree, also look for the band OSHE. They are Jewlicious. (A group of Jewish guys I went to highschool with, whose music is phenominal, all be it quite different from Matisyahu. They’re pure insturmental. You can check them out at or find them on etree.

    Another great site for live show recordings of many share friendly artists can be found at:
    It’s basicly etree’s archive but without bit torrent. It’s a good spot to get all the older Matisyahu and Oshe shows, and a lot of other share friendly artists.

    Check it out!

  • saw a little thing on mtv last night after the real world about him… it was a commercial for some show or something? i know that’s not very clear. anyone else see it?

  • i think i heard him on this local station called Rock 104, which baffles me to the extreme because they play almost exclusively terrible music, and i wouldn’t call his music rock anyway. and i wouldn’t think he would have mainstream appeal. what’s going on?!

  • What’s going on is a very good agent. Or if you are a Lubavicher, the Rebbe.

    I also saw him on MTV. I find it appalling. What does he stand for? In Jewish terms. How do we relate to him? as a Jew, a BT, a Chabadnik? As a pious devout Jew? That is what Chassid means, pious. What do you think of when you hear the word pious? This?

    How he gets a promo like that on MTV, is either again he has a great agent, or they at MTV, beg him to agree to be on, for pay I would assume, or free whatever, and he does have to agree.

    Now I gather that he selling alot of records. So already, I can surmise, he in financial terms, rich, or well on his way. At the very least, he has created a buzz about him. So this I find very disturbing. I thought Chassidus was more in line w/ how much is enough? Do you really need all the materialism? And indeed I have lived amongst Chassidim, in places like Beis Yisroel, in Jerusalem, in Geula, in Brooklyn, I have visited Crown Heights many times, and mostly in the life style did seem relatively subdued, but this dude, he strikes me as Maddona like, he is casting his eyes on the big time prize so to speak, and I find it offensive to my Chabbadish sensibilities, that he has done this, that he uses his Lubav dress to promote himself. It is part of his shtick, yet he doesn’t need it, if his music is so great, which from my perspective it is not, but that is only my little opinion, I like to listen yet to Mike Oldfield, but also to Bob Marley, and when I hear his shrill, fake white boy turned- Jamaican- man-Rasta Far I, little act, I don’t connect to it, in any way, shape, or form. But this is cool, I like music that others would say the same about. I have no problem being in the minority about his music, but I would think that if his music is so gr8, why pretend to be a real, down and out, or low on the materialism pole, but high on G-d, real Chabbidnik?
    So I am finding him embarrassing. Probably, I will totally admit, because I don’t dig, his music.

  • while i personally usually get colloquialisms like “shana aleph”[first year abroad at israeli yeshiva] (and in the previous post about Madonna which used “shtuyot”[ridiculousness]), i worry that some of your readers may feel marginalized by these terms that they are not familiar with. i’m not trying to be critical of your site; all the posts are worthwhile and you know we at jewschool love having you around. just wanted to suggest that you could perhaps take a cue from shabot define your terms.
    “Say not anything which cannot be understood at once, in the hope that it will be understood in the end.” -Mishna Avot 2:5

  • Oy. Fine. Shtuyot is stupidities. Shana Aleph is indeed the first year abroad at an Israeli yeshivah. Hence the shana aleph crowd is made up of Yeshiva boys and Seminary girls just out of high school. They tend to travel in very large packs and every time they run into someone they know, they (the women especially) tend to screech – “Oh my G*D! Shmushy! Shmushy Finkelstein!!!” Many have strong Brooklyn and Long Island accents. Whether a restaurant or an event, anything associated with shana aleph gets the kiss of death from discriminating individuals. It would be like hanging out with annoying high schoolers. This is of course a gross over generalization and, like jewschool posters, we love having Yeshiva boys and seminary girls around for the most part.

  • CK wrote:

    Or get stoned. But I am pretty certain Matisyahu wouldn’t approve of either option.

    You want Muffti to take seriously a reggae player who doesn’t approve of marijuana use? bwahahahahaha. That’s ridiculous. Imagine Muffti told you:

    Hey let’s go see this DJ play. No, don’t do any of that extascy! DJ Shmushi doesn’t approve of such things! But really, he’s like a great DJ and stuff!’

    Does that sound very realistic?

  • I never asked you to do anything. Take him seriously don’t take him seriously, it’s all up to you. All I know is when I saw him in Montreal, there was a bad ass rasta dude standing next to me who kept going “Ce n’est pas possible! Ce n’est pas possible!” He enjoyed the show …

  • Agreed, what I object to is his need to pander to the MTV audience. It’s ultra hypocritical imo. His need to sell records overrides anything. I see him as the male Madonna. The dress and all the G-d talk is just his shtick to sell records. Give me a break. There are other Jewish bands out there to fawn over if you must.

    Would they agree to be promoed like that on MTV?

  • Just had to say, I love Matisyahu… he is the best thing out there. I don’t normally care for Jewish music but his music inspires me!! Go Matis GO!!!

  • Jobber,
    I don’t think he panders at all…after all he really only has one album of original material, which was released before his currently found fame. Let us not forget, music is this guys JOB, it’s his life, so being put on MTV is good for his job. I say yashar koach to the guy for doing as well as he has.

    My challenge to you, go to a show, watch the guy perform…his presence is unbelievable and his show is a LOT of fun. He is the real deal. But Michael is right, it is part of the ever reaching jewish consipracy, that is true.

  • I will go to see him at some point. I am not commenting on the music aspect or not, as my tastes are not that type of Reggae.

    I just feel that there is alot of shtick to it.

    If he didn’t have the Hassidic garb, would he really have sold 100,000 discs?

    And also I do find it offensive that someone who claims to be so pious would put himself in these type of places and MTV especially. Yes he goes where he has an audience, but what about playing to the frum audiences more?

    If you read the Haaretz article Friday,, Musaf LiShabbos, he talks about trying not to look at things that go on in these clubs. Then he says that he had to start looking bec. instead of appearing so aloof.

    So I don’t get it, are you pious, or just out to make a killing?

    I have a right to criticize someone who is putting Judaism in these places like that. Someone who has spent it sounds like a couple of years studying in a Yeshiva, and takes the act on the road.

    Personally I am more moved by the singer Jewell, that she and her Mom were being beaten by the Dad, so she said let’s split, we’ll live in the car, I’ll sing in Coffeeshops, you’ll be my manager, we’ll survive. That is more real and meaningful to me that some rich white Jew boy from White Plains, who smoked too much Schwagg in high school, now preaching about G-d and all.


  • Is there an emoticon for the derisive snort that is the automatic reflex of any music lover upon confrontation with a sincere profession of appreciation for Jewel?

    There should be.

  • It’s the story and background that is fascinating, I couldn’t name a song by her if she fell on my face.

    Why does Michael have to act like he is Mr. Cool. Mr. Best-Music-Taste? It’s funny really, the juvenile process that he puts on display.

    It’s cool though I am not really knocking him. This need to show how cool one is, this too shall pass.

  • I would enjoy the show I am sure. Especially in Israel or w/in a frum audience. I just objec to his playing in the type of venues he does, and being on MTV like that. It is taking the holy hassidic garb and making a mockery of it, like going to a strip club, and i have seen hassids in these. Just to sell a few more records?

  • I could do w/ out some of the lyrics tho, e.g ‘We Want Moshiach Now’, ‘Essence of my Being”. It looks to me like the band is really what makes it. He should contact me about lyrics, I could really set him up big time.

  • You realize his goal is not to play for Frum audiances right? He’s a chabadnik, his goal is Inreach. (That’s the term Chabadnikim use instead of Outreach and Kiruv, because your no closer, nor are we looking for converts…) He wants to play for audiances of non orthodox jews who he hopes will be inspired by his music to check out Judaism from a more traditional vantage. He’s trying to project the image of being able to be “cool” and also frum. If he wanted to be MBD he wouldn’t be on MTV, this is his Mifsoyim…

  • I am not Jewish but somewhat familiar with the faith. Isn’t it true he is not supposed to work on Saturdays? I just saw him in concert Saturday. Can someone guide me on the answer here? While his music is good (imo) and he can say whatever he wants, I just keep leaning towards the whole Hasidic Jew thing being his schtick, as mentioned several times above. Don’t put anything past someone who wants to be rich and famous. And that’s a fact from the industry. But I still like his music. I’ve just accepted those things about him and any other musician/ actress/ singer

  • Nah, we spent Shabbat with him, he’s the real Hasidic deal. See our Jewlicious @ the Beach posts for more.

    Here’s the this with Saturday – It’s not the whole of Saturday, its just until sunset. Shabbat is from Friday at the beginning of sunset until Saturday when it’s dark enough to make out three stars in the sky. Hence, a Saturday night concert is no problem.