col_homer.jpgThere’s been a bit of controversy of late regarding Matisyahu’s decision to drop his JDub management team and instead go with former Capitol Records president Gary Gersh, the man said to have discovered Nirvana and who currently represents big name bands such as Beck, The Foo Fighters and The Beastie Boys.

The aggrieved parties, namely Aaron Bisman, 25 and Jacob Harris 26, run the non-profit Jewish record label JDub Records. True to their label’s mission, they were early supporters of Matisyahu’s music and had a management contract with him that was good for another three years. Matisyahu however, decided to break this contract and go elsewhere out of concern that Bisman and Harris did not have sufficient experience to guide his carreer given the unprecedented success of his albums Live at Stubbs (currently #36 on the Billboard Charts, certified Gold with over 500,000 CDs sold) and Youth (debuted at #4).

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Former followers of Shabbatai do penance for their support of him.

So did I say there was a bit of controversy? To say the least! The reaction to Matisyahu’s decision to change management teams reminds me of the response by the followers of false messiah Sabbatai Zevi upon hearing that he had converted to Islam. He’s been accused of violating Halakhah, selling out his friends and behaving in a way that does not befit a man of principle. Others have defended his decision, saying he had no choice, that it would be career suicide to have inexperienced management at such a pivotal time.

What a dilemma! Was Matisyahu’s move a cynical and hypocritical act of betrayal against his friends and early supporters or was it merely an unpleasant but necessary business decision? Well, when faced with similar dilemmas I try to find wisdom in reliable sources. The Simpsons have been entertaining me for years – there is thus no reason why they could not offer guidance even in this complicated matter.

After some research I found the answer in episode 20, season 3 of the Simpsons. Titled Colonel Homer, this episode has an extra layer of yichus (distinguished lineage) in that it is the only one ever written by Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons.

You can read a synopsis of the plot here, but briefly Homer meets Lurleen Lumpkin, a sweet voiced waitress at a local C&W Honky Tonk. She sings a song she just made up, and in short course Homer, moved by the song, gets it recorded and played on a local radio station. The song becomes an instant sensation and Homer becomes Lurleen’s manager. Lurleen is very thankful but Marge, Homer’s wife fears for her marriage. Homer then secures Lurleen a TV gig during which he is approached by another more experienced manager who wishes to purchase Lurleen’s contract. Homer refuses and then later in the dressing room, Lurleen makes her romantic desires towards Homer known. Homer remembers the sanctity of his marriage to Marge and tells Lurleen that his goal was to share her voice with other people, and he’s done it. He then leaves and sells the contract to the other manager for $50.

Clearly Homer realized that continuing his association with Lurleen would endanger his marriage. But throughout the episode, Homer was also inspired by a selfless desire to share Lurleen’s music with the rest of the world. Homer’s decision to sell the contract was thus also motivated by his desire to do the right thing for Lurleen and her career – Homer knew that being represented by “Rebel Yell Records, a division of the Tokasagi Corporation” would mean that Lurleen’s management would be undertaken by competent professionals. Consequently, I believe that Homer would enjoin Bisman and Harris to let their friend Matisyahu go and do the right thing for his music and for his career. Homer had no more musical aspirations but JDub’s association with Matisyahu will no doubt benefit JDub’s other acts.

So it’s all good. Homer would have approved of Matisyahu’s move and that’s good enough for me. As for everyone else, let’s enjoy a cool refreshing Duff beer and move on …

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About the author

ck

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.

60 Comments

  • Sexy parable CK. Still, have to have rachmones on Jdub. However, I thought the Simpsons jumped the shark 8 years ago. Are they really still funny or no?

  • a nice (if simpson-o-philic) take on something that really didn’t need to be such a big frikkin issue in the first place. it’s been kinda fun to watch, tho’, as the “jewish hipster” community has been frought with these feelings of abandonment and jealousy as one of their golden boys escaped the incestual trappings of the “jewish” scene and went “mainstream.” as if the entire entertainment industry isn’t already jewish!

    y’know what they say about incest… “if ya can’t keep it in your pants… at least keep it in the family.”

    come to think of it, that could easily become the next slogan for birthright israel…

  • Well Baby, this episode was from season 3 and was very funny because it was old skool Simpsons. You know, from before they sold out to the man and became all commercial. Yeah! As for rachmones for JDub – well, I am not unsympathetic or anything. I am sure that once the lawyers are all done, JDub will be more than adequately taken care of.

  • I think more than the decision that Matisyahu (should we call him “Joo-Fighter?”) made, which is probably the correct one from a business standpoint, what stands out in a negative fashion is the cold, cowardly way that he severed this relationship – abrubtly, with no warning, and not even face-to-face. Pretty anti-mentschy way to treat people who have basically taken you from nothing and launched your whole career.

  • Whoa! That is some radical interpretation of the episode there, CK! The whole point at the end is that the managment Homer sells Lurleen to are a bunch of sleazeballs out to con Homer (and, we can only assume, Lurleen). The fact that they are from a company not at all associated with country music suggests that they are going to manage Lurleen into the ground and make her compromise her sound…hey, now the analogy to Matisyahu IS looking pretty tight. Go simpsons!

  • CK- Big ups youself.
    Well said and I hope that this brings the needed perspective for some detractors and loshonhoraniks. Perhaps others will just be amazed at your gaonic recall and ability to find that episode from the hundreds that have been made. Thank you for being rather solomonic.

  • WOW! Somebody from this site didn’t totally just slam him! I’m amazed and awed. Also, wisdom from the Simpson’s…who knew?

  • As outraged or angry all parties in this argument are, at each other, at Matisyahu, the main thing to realize is that it has become a moot point. There is no way for Matis to undo what he has done and even if there was I doubt that anyone would want him to do so. There is no reason for further debate on the subject we all just have to accept what happened for what it was.

  • He could undo. First of all, where is he being played bichlall? I actually have been looking for him on MTV, nada.

    I haven’t liked his stuff from the get-go, and this only confirms that he is full of crap. All his holy posturing is just that, an act, a pose.

    He treated his good friends, people who spent alot of time promoting and supporting him, like crap, like he is a rap star actually.

    His lyrics are horrible, cliched, atrocious.

    “Essence of my being”? Faceit, he is not that talented, he is a huckster, he knows how to perform a bit on stage. what is the big fawning for? Oh yeah, he ‘connects w/ the estranged youth” sure.

  • That being siad I stil have to argue with some of you basic assumptions:
    1. That the switch to management under Gary Gersh from JDub is “the right thing for [Matisyahu’s] music and for his career”.
    Obviously no one can say what will happen to Matisyahu’s music and his career because of the switch. It is just too early to tell. But why did he need to jump ship if JDub already got him as high on the Bilboard charts as you mentioned (Stubbs at #36 and Youth at #4). Also, considering that JDub is a “non-profit Jewish record label” it is hard not to assume that Matisyahu will be making more money with Gersh, which stinks of him selling out.

    2. That JDub is an unexperienced record label.
    I just don’t know where the claim that JDub “did not have sufficient experience to guide his carreer” comes from because obviously they were doing a pretty good job promoting him, in light of his sucess. Granted, Matisyahu has great musical talent and stage presence but cleary JDub’s “inexperienced management” had something to do with his sucess because not every talented musician becomes popular.

    3. That Matisyahu’ move was a necessary business decision.
    Obviously I don’t know the exact agreements as to Matisyahu’s payment, but once again his sucess suggests that he wasn’t starving. And when does smart business turn into greed? If his actions regarding leaving JDub was “merely an unpleasant but necessary business decision” as you suggest, then he must have been severely underpaid for his level of popularity. Or is the quantity of money that important to him?

    I don’t know if any of this matters but here are just the things which stick out and bother me about your post.

  • why is everyone assuming that because JDub was with Matisyahu when he was “nothing” that they weren’t out to make some cash as well? Business is business. If he did breach a contract, then like CK said, I’m sure they’ll get theirs in court and everyone can move on.

  • Because JDub is explicitly non-profit and meant to promote Jewish music not make money, while major recording labels aim to make money.

  • Jobber, what is your deal? It is okay to not like him, but why do you insist on attacking him on a religious level? It is so judgemental and “high and mighty” of you. Plus, do you know him personally, do you know his friends personally? If you don’t, then you DON’T know what happened and you DON’T really have anything to say about it then. I think you’re just mean…mean, mean, mean. Try being nice for a change. C’mon, you can do it, say one nice thing about something…just try.

  • He moved to a mainstream management team so he could rub shoulders w/ other pop stars, duh. so he can sell more records. I hope he falls on his stupid ass.

    I have some 3-4 songs for him that I am putting onto a demo, someone get him on touch w/ me.I have the material that will work, not some MTV crap that he will try to make kosher.

  • Religious level, Danielle, please, how sincere is his Teshuva, if he makes this move on JDub, w/ a phone call only, no less? Where is he holding in Learning?

    This is his Torah? to spend every waking minute playing one more depraved club? He can’t make do w/ a few million less? and could spend time more time w/ his wife and child?

    He is an embarrassment in terms of religion, and I have been kind on that one. I have only attacked his lame ass lyrics, that is bec. i am a song writer myself and a guitar player. I am outraged only on his lyrics, that are terrible.

  • I already fell on my ass, many times. especially 4 years ago. But I learnt a tremedous amount from this. I only hope my children don’t suffer for the garbage I have had to do to support them.

  • First of all his Teshuva is between him and the big man upstairs…it’s not any of your business. Second, he is trying to reach people, to reach the person he used to be; To get people to see that there is so much more to life. Maybe his wife encourages him, maybe she is very happy on tour with him and Laivy…how do you know? Oh wait, you don’t…so you’re still flapping your gums, why?

  • Well, obviously all that falling didn’t teach you one thing…being humble. You should try it.

  • That is where you are wrong Danielle. By his wearing a Yarmulka and his Levush in such a public way, he does represent us. As such what he does or does not do, is our busieness. Ask Mobius about that. He is the one who calls it Hassidic Reggae. Hassidic, is a not an ethnic term that belongs to Lubavich. All Jews, can be Chassidim, it means pious. Sometimes I am pious. So the term belongs to me, and is my business.

    The truth cannot always be surpressed Danielle. Yeah I’m sure his wife loves him being away every night, sure.

    I’m sure I’ve been more humble than you can imagine Danielle, u can get off your high horse.

  • and how he used to be? does that include the white boy act w/ the Jamaican accent mon? So he is on a mission is that it? it’s all about Kiruv? U must be joking, u must work for aish.

    U must do standup comedy for aish.

    OK now I get it, it’s all for kiruv, that explains his beautiful behavior to JDUb. better exposure for kiruv, why didn’t i see that, Danielle?

  • Jobber…please, as I said before you have every right to dislike his music, but you have no right to tell him he is a crummy Jew. How about not judging? You…humble? Your words definately don’t convey it. There is no “wrong” or “right” Judaism. There is only Judaism. He is practicing what he believe to be Judaism, what makes him feel spiritually fulfilled. Who are you to question that?

    Do you know what it is like to grow up as a Jewish kid in the middle of the Bible Belt in the U.S. of A. I had kids who weren’t even ALLOWED to play with me because I was a jew. Now, those same people are bobbing their collective heads up and down to the beat of “King without a Crown.” If nothing else he is exposing someone somewhere to a different culture and maybe making them more enlightened. Key word “enLIGHTened.” Are we not supposed to “be a light unto the nations?” Whatever way that light is conveyed is irrelevant. It is that the light shines brightly that is important.

    By the way, his wife is on tour with him. So, I’m going to venture to bet she sees him…every night.

  • I can’t believe we’re having another discussion about this. Are we up to 50% of all posts being about this singer yet?

    Danielle, you’re debating with a commenter who attacks Matisyahu and in the same comment tells us he’s written songs for him. Don’t take it too hard.

  • such hostility, gevalt! i say you both stop arguing, because it’s just a whole bunch of mishegas anyway.

    it’s my own theory that every Jew finds his own way. it’s been said that Matis is a baal teshuvah, no? so then…he’s not perfect, is he? not to say that every Lubavitch is a Chasid, nor perfect, for that matter. we’re holding Matis up on a pedestal because of his image, aka, Lebuvitch. he’s not perfect, he’s still himself, just with a beard and black hat. he’s got his own business sense, and whether it means that he’s gotta leave JDub for the big guns (which, I myself don’t agree with), is his own business sense. he’s not perfect, and the whole leaving thing isn’t really a matter of religion. in fact, and i might be wrong, but isn’t there a point in Ashkenazi Jewry to make money to be comfortable in life? Then one can do the great mitzvah of tzedakah, no?

    Whatever, what do i know. but yeah. that’s my input.

  • The issue is, how did he treat his JDUB people just now. Some say, it’s only business. I say, he can’t go around w. his holier than thou act and then act like that. I think everyone would agree. it’s just that some people have a use for him, to help promote their events, so they say, business is business.

    Danielle, there is a concept in Judaism of Chilull Hashem. Once you are so totally public like that, your actions have to be considered carefully. Chiluull Hashem means, not to do or act in such a way that will cause harm or damage to the religion or to G-d’s name as it were.

    What we are seeing from Matisyahu w/ this JDUB debacle, is a Chilull HaShem.

    I am sorry that the truth hurts, but not everything is business is business.

    Middle, I assure you, if he or his people contact me, he will use my lyrics. I can be reached via my little blog.

  • Middle, I agree with you…this is a no-win battle. So, this is the last thing I will say about it. JOBBER UNLESS YOU WERE THERE YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. End of discussion. You have to explain to me how he is dishonoring the Jewish faith or G-d. This I have to hear.

  • The chilull Hashem you can read about just google. That he broke his contract w/ them. Especially as has been noted, they have done a damm fine job for him would you not agree, Danielle?

    Does he really expect to be #1 w/ those boring cliched lyrics of his?

  • Here: But a few days before “Youth” was released, Mr. Bisman and his partner, Jacob Harris, received an unexpected phone call from their prize talent, telling them their management services were no longer required. “He was in Kansas,” Mr. Bisman said. “He said, ‘I don’t know if you guys are old enough or have enough experience.’ ”

    For Mr. Bisman, 25, and Mr. Harris, 26, it was a shock from an old friend and a potential blow to their business. They had shepherded Matisyahu through his early career, setting up gigs and handing out fliers and the like รขโ‚ฌโ€ with the added duty of defining just what a pro-Jewish act would do. “He was the embodiment of what we thought was possible,” Mr. Harris said. “Proud, authentic Jewish artists.”

    And while JDub has not been Matisyahu’s record label for two years, Mr. Bisman and Mr. Harris had remained his managers, and Matisyahu’s engagements bring in a substantial part of the company’s revenue.

    The two men said they still have nearly three years left on a four-year management contract, and are consulting with their lawyers on how to proceed. “There has to be some sort of legal action,” Mr. Bisman said in an interview at the JDub offices at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University.

    Matisyahu’s lawyer, Valerie Marcus, declined to comment.

    JDub has an annual budget of nearly $1 million, about half of which comes from grants and the rest from the label’s revenues. It has a handful of other acts and promotes concerts around the country, but Matisyahu was central to the company’s finances. “We really thought of this as an endowment to do this for a long time,” Mr. Harris said.

    Both men said that JDub’s finances were strong enough to continue but that the loss would be painful.

    “This is the music business, I guess,” Mr. Bisman said.

  • JDub did a great job, no one said they didn’t. Maybe it was just time for him to move on. And it’s time for us to move on!

    Jobber, let me know when your album drops. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Matisyahu is nothing more than a modern day minstrel show! Oh my god! I can’t believe I just said that! I’m all shook up like I been in the blender!

  • “Maybe it was just time for him to move on” no that is the point Danielle. He sets himself for such a higher standard, what w/ the not touching women and all.

    if he’s going to flaunt his pious religiosity in his music, clothing, and social habits, the least he could do is try and behave like a decent human being. Otherwise, he’s just another in a long line of overtly-religious hypocrites who’s vaunted moral code turns out to be a steaming pile of crap.

    He wasn’t supposed to be just like everyone else in the music biz.

    and it reflects on frum Jews everywhere and that sucks, that is why we are so upset w/ the dude. That and the bad bad lyrics.

  • If JDub is non-profit, what do they care. A non-profits worrying about vast riches and anarchists complaining about broken contracts…what’s next?

  • And since when is it anti-Jewish to amass wealth?

    Fucking hippy-Christians-idol worshipping-Lubavitchers.

  • Well, I don’t care what anyone says. I love Matisyahu! I think he’s great. I’ve seen him twice live, and he was awesome. Mazel Tov to him and his family for his success.

  • It’s not a question of amassing wealth, but of violating Halacha. You can’t or you shouldn’t go around refusing to shake a womans hand because *that* is an aveirah, and then break your halachik contract. It’s unseemly, immoral, and a chiluul Hashem. That is what we object to.

    Danielle, not everyone can make that separation between the hypocracy and the music. Personally I think he is going to regret this move. If you read some of the blogs alot of people are very turned off by this. That and the awful lyrics and cliched songs he has now. He has lost his edge that is for certain.

  • Jobber – what Halachah was violated? Have you never heard of anticipatory breach? If A has a contract with B and A has reason to believe that B will not be able to fully execute on that contract, A is well within his rights to preemptively cancel the contract so as to mitigate his potential losses. JDub is great at what it does but a non profit organization running out of the offices of the NY Federation is woefully underequipped to manage the carreer of a major talent like Matisyahu. It may seem a tad calculating but he absolutely did the right thing. Now go out and buy his record – Matisyahu’s album Youth has slipped from 4 to 7 on the Billboard charts this week. Time for more airplay! Shabat Shalom!

  • as in the Torah, all things that will ever be or had been, can be found in the Simpsons. But only up to season 11.

  • I did find it weird that Matisyahu *didn’t sing a note* the whole time we were at the JTB2 conference. I don’t recall him even singing after meals on Shabbat. Perhaps he was under contractual constraints? Stressed from his pending split with JDub?

    CK: I’d agree that logically, in terms of business, and by halakha Matis is probably in the right. But if his former partners/friends feel that they were left out in the dark about this, and that they weren’t told in person by Matis, then this might be a violation of Jewish ethics, but not law. From what I read, Matis could have been more gracious and inclusive to the team that helped raise him to his current success. I’m sure JDub knew that eventually any one of their artists that hit the big time would eventually need to leave for larger, more experienced representation. But considering how much he owes them in the way of intangibles, he could have gone about initiating his transition in a more open, friendly, inclusive, and considerate manner.

    Just my $0.02…

  • Halacha of the contract. He could only break the contract if JDub was doing a very poor job. I’m sure even you would admit that JDub did an excellent job, more than Excellent, in promoting this unknown person bef. they met.

    There is no way you can say that JDub was harming him in any way.

    A deal that is carried out honestly, is a deal in Halacha.

    It’s not like he wasn’t a ‘star’ w/ JDub. CK

  • the answer that this is the music business is not relevant here.

    The best thing he could do now is to make Teshuva, go back to JDub, start singing in Hebrew, divrei Torah, Tehillim. Now that would be earth shattering. Let Birthright and Aish do Kiruv.

  • As long as Matisyahu tickets get sold on Ticketmaster – it IS about the music business. I’m in the entertainment industry, and let me tell you, his story is too typical to cause one iota of a fuss over. Core loyalists will always view a step to the next level as “selling out”. I watched it happen first hand with bands like Green Day and Blink. Core fans feel abandoned, core support feel betrayed. I’m sure weรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve all had favorite acts that have gone “mainstream” to make a buck. And really, that’s what it’s about. The musician is pursuing a dream – sure, it’s ego driven on many levels, but it’s also his JOB. Here is a parallel: You get your first job at a Mom & Pop record store at 16, by 21 you’re in the artist development department at Epic. Sweet deal right? Most would call that scenario “moving up”. Well what about Mom & Pop? You’ll never be able to thank them enough for giving you a start… and you’ll do your best to be successful and make them proud. JDub should be proud. I gotta say, no matter how รขโ‚ฌล“watered downรขโ‚ฌย some may say Youth is, I get a kick knowing that Matisyahu is available at AOL Music on Demand รขโ‚ฌโ€œ and that all the natty rude boys and girls are singing along.

  • So you’re agreeing that the holier- than – thou act is a bunch of crap?

    We are talking about a religious Jew, or are we?

  • He’s not going back to JDub and it’s not a matter of Halacha, but why not make some public declaration of appreciation for JDub and in private assure them that he’ll make them whole in some way. Not only is that the menschlach thing to do (especially for someone who’s video is about being an example to a young kid) it will also save him tons of time, money, angst and litigation. I think even if he did the right thing he did it the wrong way. He f-ed up because of chasar bitachon v’pachad. Chaval. Poor example for am hayehudi.

  • Just because JDub did an adequate job to date doesn’t mean they are capable of going to the next level. The week JDub came out and told the NYT that Matisyahu had decided to go with other management, he had 2 albums in the top 40. That’s a whole new level of complexity. And where was his management team? Matisyahu was out on a gruelling touring schedule (that’s why he didn’t sing at J@TB2) and his management was in NY. They should have been out there with him, offering him guidance and support. And now, since JDub is lawyering itself up, Matisyahu cannot make a statement – if I were his lawyer that’s what I would tell him to do because anything he says publicly on the subject could be used against him in court. So yeah, it aint pretty but it’s arguably legal and it takes two to tango. As for why he didn’t do it in person, the question is when?? Have you seen his tour schedule? Youth was arguably over produced – that digital cher-esque voice manipulation on Jerusalem was unneccesary. But now that he has an undeniable track record, assuming he doesn’t get messed up with stupid legal proceedings, his next album willl be even better. We’ll see… but tilll then he has my fullest support for whatever that’s worth.

  • CK, you asked Halachikly, not about next level. Halachikly, they were doing an excellent job. Anything over ‘poor’ job would have been valid enough. Dude, if the argument was that Matisyahu wanted a manager on site, at all times, to carry his luggage, I think that is a petty issue either way. They were in large part a superb partner in his success in getting into clubs, on radio, MTV,etc.

    Arguable legal, not in Halachik terms, maybe in American law terms, but we shall see already.

    If he had asked me, I would have advised him to cut back on the touring and work on the quality of the next album, but that was not on the agenda anyway. Personally, and I don’t know him from Adam, I think the constant touring/adoration/stardom has affected him in a negative way, and perhaps this is the reason for his aveira.

    JDub’s job was to facilitate his success, which they did fully, 100%.

    My point is that unethical behavior in the frum community has been occuring for a long time. For some reason, I thought this man was really special, honest, pure, whatever, but this move shows him to be a phony, it pains me to say this, but it is based on what he did.

    As such, it makes us look as an accomplice if we continue to support him. Dude, he doesn’t need our support, but we should stand firm on honesty and devotion to Halacha.

    I doubt whether he cares bichlal. We should not be supporting such deviant behavior.

    I urge you to consider your position on this issue and to do the right thing and tell him to correct his averia.

  • jeez Jobber, you must be one hell of a mensch, since you hold yourself in a position to judge a person whose motives and circumstances are completely unknown to you, and in whose position you have never been. i’m not crazy about the guy’s music, but he is just a performer. He’s not a role model, and I can’t imagine he has ever claimed to be perfect or “pure,” as you choose to put it. and one could argue that it’s more important to tour and to perform live for one’s fans rather than focus on one’s studio work, but that’s a matter of opinion. if you think that the only purpose a management team serves is to carry luggage, then i have to question your authority on this whole issue in the first place. it’s your prerogative to dislike the man and the music, but to insinuate that those who support Matisyahu are somehow accomplices to an alleged break with halacha and generally amoral behavior is just asinine. Why are you so unrelenting on this issue? You’ve made your opinion abundantly clear, and I don’t think your chances of single-handedly bringing Matisyahu’s career down are very good, so how about giving it a rest?

  • You’ll have to forgive Jobber, ofri. I’m sure he means well. Jobber, whether or not Matisyahu’s ending his association with JDub is an aveira or not is a question that neither of us is fully qualified to answer. All I am saying is that both legally AND Halachically, it is arguable. Much of western law is traceable back to Halachah and I am sure that the concepts like mitigation of damages and preemptive breach sit as well in a court of law as they do in front of a Beit Din.

    I know that Rav said that รขโ‚ฌล“A worker can withdraw [from his employment contract] even in the middle of the dayรขโ‚ฌย – this was because Jewish Law does not encourage personal servitude. In both legal systems, contracts and promises have to be kept. There are several exceptions of course and the classic exception involves contracts for personal services – neither a court not a Beit Din can force someone to be an employer or an employee.

    I mean I could go on and on but suffice it to say, and ask any Rabbi if you like, the notion, made by some fellow bloggers that “His breach of contract is a clear violation of halakha” is fallacious. Matisyahu, even if he was guilty as charged, did not steal anything from JDub. He may have arguably harmed them, but then all he has to do is pay damages.

    So please, next time you call someone an avaryan in a public forum, I suggest you do a little research first.

  • Ck, Matisyahu was not a worker. They had an agreement they both signed and M illegally broke this agreement. We as a community, should not support him bec. of this.
    Ofri, I think his lousy music and lyrics are sad enough and speak for themselves. But his behavior is an embarrassment and as I said, he does unfortunately represent Judaism. WHen he refuses to shake a womans hand, bec. he is too damm ‘pious’ and then he pulls a move like this, illegally breaking his agreement w/ JDub, then we should not be supporting him at all, until he does make restitution, which CK feels will happen tommorow, I have exp. w/ Chabbad when it comes to money, I don’t think JDub will be receiving restitution in our lifetimes, but maybe i will be proved wrong. Just let me know when it is resolved, I will wait patiently.

  • It’s an important issue Danielle. Should we be supporting people who wear their religion on their sleeves in everyones face and then act completely contrary to how a religious person should act? or do we only get crazy when it is a pedophile, or a Rabbi having unwanted sexual relations w/ women who seek his council?

    I am not getting over the injustice and anti halachik actions of this so called Hassdic Reggae superstar.

    Frum and moral people should not be supporting this deviance.

  • Jobber, you really don’t know what you are talking about in terms of Halachah.
    There is no binding obligation on Matisyahu to stay with Jdub as a management team, in Halacha. The notion is rediculous, and runs against so many basic halachic principles.(Two examples Ein adam Makneh Davar Shelo Ba L’olam and Poel Chozer Bo B’Emtzah hayom, V’Yado al Haelyonah) The best that you can argue is that there is a Lifnim M’Shuras Hadin obligation to honor your word, but it is certainly not enforceable in Beit Din!
    And, Btw, I think that the new Album is deeply lacking in spiritual message, and that is directly related to his taking up with the new production team. But, in halacha, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • You are seriously obsessing over this issue Jobber. He isn’t wearing his religion on his sleeve, he’s just practicing his religion. He is who is. He’s a talented musician who just happens to be Jewish, who likes to sing about G-d and his faith. You need to let it go man. How much coffee do you drink in a day, you’re seriously intense about all this. You’ve tried to turn, like, 3 other posts into this same discussion. Just let it go…deep breath in…deep breath out…

  • Jobber you need to chill out. There’s nothing wrong with switching managers in a business. If you don’t violate a contract you don’t violate a contract. How he broke the news is between him and managers. Also, you don’t, can’t, and frankly shouldn’t, know the whole story. That’s between him and his managers.

    I hear why you are upset, and I don’t blame you for your frustration. I know enough talented musicians to grind my teeth together when I see how they get passed over for a lot of the filth on the radio. You’re right, it isn’t fair, and it’s cruel, but there are alternatives to getting your music out. (magnatune.com)

    But I want to point something out to you as far as religious beliefs go. The Chofetz Chaim is very very blunt that loshon hora is the only reason why we are still in exile. He says clearly that the exile was actually supposed to end about 1200 years ago, but for this ridiculous and pointless sin. You don’t need this pain, man.

    Maybe Matisyahu was wrong for leaving his managers, maybe not. But you are clearly in the wrong for speaking out against him for it. There are times and places for speaking out against a Jew, and the Chofetz Chaim makes those times and places clear as well. This isn’t one of those times chief.

    Finally, and most importantly, you DEFINITELY have no right to criticize his lyrics. Maybe if you wanted to give him constructive criticism or to analyze what he write in a review, I guess it would be fair.

    But here you are just putting him down. Those lyrics are his livelihood. If someone chooses not to listen to him because of your criticism, then you are liable for causing a Jew to lose parnassa. Yeah, I know he will probably never notice it but HASHEM will. And the Chofetz Chaim also has what to say on that topic too. And I’m not even getting into whether or not you might turn off someone who could be inspired by his lyrics.

    and isn’t that what music is all about?

    I’d rather you told us what you feel is good Jewish music to listen to. Or even if you’d share some of YOUR lyrics and music with the rest of us. But bashing another Jew, no offense man, but none of us, you included, need that.

    -ron

  • Anyway, I just want to say that my heart tells me that he is sincere and his music is a reflection of a soul that loves his G-d.

    I know I can’t prove anything I’m saying. I guess I could be wrong. But this is what my heart tells me. I’m not a musical genius or even a musician. Maybe that’s not good enough. That is what my heart tells me though.

    -ron

  • Well breaking a contract like he did is absolutely against halacha. I can’t see how you people justify his actions.

    I personally do not find his lyrics to be of much value so I commented as such.

    I don’t understand Danielle here. It’s like, you HAVE to LOVE Matisuahu, and if you don’t there is something WRONG w/ you.

  • Jobber, you keep saying what he did is absolutely against halacha despite numerous claims to the contrary. can you provide support for your assertion? there is a huge difference between an act being morally reprehensible to you and its being “absolutely against halacha.” i mean, i am not well-versed (or even poorly versed) in halacha, but I assume there are actual laws or what have you. If you’re so convinced that you have an open and shut case of halachic violation, let’s have it. Otherwise maybe you should laisse tomber.
    Ron, I am not a fan of Jobber’s choice of self expression either, so I hate to break it to you that he absolutely does have a right to bash anyone’s lyrics he wants to, constructively or otherwise, no matter how sick everyone is of hearing about it. It’s called the First Amendment. Maybe you meant halachically he has no right to bash another Jew, in which case you could be right, but I wouldn’t know.

  • The bottom line is you’ll only achieve success if you really want to quit yourself. Espresso coffee machine uses steam pressure to force hot water through finely ground coffee beans. This is maybe one of the reasons why using coffee enemas with high blood pressure is getting more and more popular in recent months.

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