Reggae sensation Matisyahu made waves last year when he revealed that he was no longer affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect. Since then, he has been davening at a shul affiliated with the Karliner Hasidim, who are known for screaming their prayers. Now, it appears, his new spiritual orientation is starting to show in his hairstyle.
While Matisyahu has long had a long beard, more recently he has been seen sporting payos (which are generally eschewed by Lubavitchers) and wearing the rest of his hair shorn close to the scalp, a style favored by members of other Hasidic sects. Matisyahu’s new ’do is evident in photos from this year’s Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach, Calif.
The three-day festival, sponsored by Beach Hillel and the blog Jewlicious.com, is now in its fourth year. It drew more than 600 mostly college-aged participants from across North America with lectures on Jewish topics, Shabbat services representing different streams of Judaism, yoga and performances by Matisyahu and other popular Jewish musicians.
According to JTA, Matisyahu chatted with festival participants about dating, making music and praying. He said he liked the way that the Karlin Hasidim shout each word of the Shema prayer “as if there’s a firing squad in the room, and they’re saying it with their last breath. That’s the way I like to kick off my morning.”
UPDATE: Jewlicious.com has some video from the festival.
This story "Matisyahu’s New ’Do" was written by Daniel Treiman.