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matisyahu shaving his beard


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#1 shifpifer1

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

should we be worried about him, after all, he is our brother, or do we ignore celebrities when they need to get out whatever they need to get out? i mean, do we consider him one of those cases where it is a call to be better (like a natural disaster) or just not worry about it?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:20 AM

There is no reason to be more or less concerned about him that any other Jew who is spiritually confused.

But also, there is no more reason to think or talk about him than you do any other Jew who is spiritually confused. If you are paying more attention to his actions than those of the millions of other Jews out there in similar positions, then the attention you are giving him is not concern for a fellow Jew (in which case you'd be equally concerned about the others as well) but concern for a celebrity-Jew. The disproportionate concern for a Jew because he is a celebrity is not from the Yetzer Tov.

And therefore, you should know that to communicate that last point, that there is no reason to focus your attention on him than any other Jew, is the only reason I see fit to have a post about this issue on the site altogether.

#3 ilavHashem

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

but he does seem to me to have more significance because of the many kids who were bt's cus of him, what do those kids say now that they see their idol and inspiration has turned away from frumkeit?

#4 shaya

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:06 AM

i dont think anything is happening, shaving a beard is merely confusion.
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#5 rocksdontfly

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:01 PM

i think he just follows a spiritual radar. meaning where ever he finds inspiration or spirituality he'll follow that, regardless if its authentic or not. he rly is confused. i happen to love his music, im just not sure hes the best role model out there. but if his actions inspire ppl to strengthen their connection to H' then ... i guess thats ok

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 11:00 PM

Yes. he is looking at Torah as a fulfillment of his predetermined concept of spirituality. When someone does this they do not accept the Torah's values but rather they are accepting the Torah because it conforms to their own values. That's what the nations of the world were doing when they asked Hashem מה כתיב ביה when He offered them the Torah. If they judge the Torah to meet some established standard, they will accept it. If not, not. נעשה ונשמע means we accept the Torah not because it meets some standard, but rather it is the standard.

But besides being an unauthentic acceptance of the Torah, becoming frum because it is fills your need or desire for so-called spirituality makes your frumkeit very fragile, as one day you may decide you don't need to be so spiritual anymore, or that some other religion or whatever, makes you more spiritually satisfied than Judaism.

#7 danceInTheRain

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:09 AM

in general my philosophy about music is: be inspired by the song but not by the singer. im SURE there are really great singers out there, that are great in the inside too, but if i would start to get to know all the singers on their insides i would probably have to cut my music library because many not nice things go on in that world- even when it comes to jewish music.
i love music and have a huge collection but i do not get into the singers. its not worth it. it might make some of my music smell bad.
for ex: i love chaim yisraels music but i am not a fan of his. i have other role models. its silly to be a fan of someone you dont know well.
i hope somebody understood what im trying to say.


#8 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:45 PM

In general. the entire idea of using so-called celebrities who become frum as a Kiruv tool is not smart. The fact that a well-known person became frum may impress some people. But by doing so, you are in effect sending the message that this person's opnion carried weight. You are telling people "Since this person became frum that means you should consider what he says." This is like using a celebrity to endorse a product. In this case, the product in Judaism.

But if you use this person's opinion as leverage for others to become frum, what will happen when and if this same person decides he does not want to be so frum, or he professes some idea that is against the Torah? How can you suddenly tell people what he says doesn't count (and in fact it doesn't) after you used his decision to become frum as a reason to emulate him?

It is a bad thing to tout a person's opinion that you really do not believe is tout-worthy in the slightest. By doing so, you concede authority to someone who is hardly worthy of it. That is never a good thing. Even if it makes some people become frum, in the long run, such distortions will most likely cost us dearly.

#9 ilavHashem

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:03 PM

dance in the rain- thts so true, i still love the songs-just because i dont luv him...it shudnt chnge tht...
i nvr thought of tht way b4....i really dnt know the singers-as personal i like 2make the music- i never even met them :)
(also:fame corrupts ppl...no wonder their insides stink sumtimes)

#10 Soulrebel

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:04 PM

Guys...it's Just. A. Beard.

The real question is whether he has actually broken Halacha or declared apikorsus.

If he hasn't, let his chin enjoy the breeze in peace. Just because he's famous doesn't mean that we own his face.

#11 Moderator #3

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

Guys...it's Just. A. Beard.

The real question is whether he has actually broken Halacha or declared apikorsus.

If he hasn't, let his chin enjoy the breeze in peace. Just because he's famous doesn't mean that we own his face.

The problem is not that he shaved his beard. The problem is that he did it because he decided that a beard doesn't add anything spiritually or something to that effect. That is disagreeing with the Torah, a much greater sin than shaving your beard.

#12 ilavHashem

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

its not just tht he shaved his beard...he also said he doesn't feel he needs the confines of chabbad to help him grow spiritually...he needed it as baby steps but now he's ready 2do it himself...wats thttt supposed 2 mean??? basicly the Torah dusnt allow him 2 do the things he wants 2....so by saying he's above the way he was taught...he's saying he dusnt have 2 keep it...shaving his beard was just a symbol of his not-so-silent rebelion.

#13 Soulrebel

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

Mod # 3- there happen to be lots of frum men who don't have facial hair. Why is that not a problem, but Matisyahu's removing his facial hair is a problem?

IlavHashem- there's going OTD, and there's becoming MO instead of Chabad and still being frum. Google isn't helping determine which scenario this is, but he isn't necessarily eating cheeseburgers

#14 Moderator #3

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:04 AM

Mod # 3- there happen to be lots of frum men who don't have facial hair. Why is that not a problem, but Matisyahu's removing his facial hair is a problem?

IlavHashem- there's going OTD, and there's becoming MO instead of Chabad and still being frum. Google isn't helping determine which scenario this is, but he isn't necessarily eating cheeseburgers

The problem is not that he has no beard. The problem is his statement that a beard does not contribute to one's spirituality. That is disagreeing with the Torah. A beard is not obligatory, but that does not mean it is meaningless. Here is a man who is not in a position to say what a beard does or not do for one's spirituality. He says this not due to Torah knowledge but due to his own definitions of "spirituality." Instead of learning what the Torah says about this subject, he decides he knows it already without consulting the Torah. He is saying if his own idea of spirituality says beards don't matter, that's all that counts. That is not Judaism.

#15 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:14 PM

Epilogue:

About 6 months ago I wrote about this man:

But besides being an unauthentic acceptance of the Torah, becoming frum because it is fills your need or desire for so-called spirituality makes your frumkeit very fragile, as one day you may decide you don't need to be so spiritual anymore, or that some other religion or whatever, makes you more spiritually satisfied than Judaism.

Unfortunately, it seems this time has come. And so, unlike this person who considered this man a role model, and "not just a role model," and is now "brokenhearted" and apparently very surprised by his actions, we are neither surprised nor ever considered him a role model.

What breaks our heart now, is the fact that there are frum Jews who now have their "role model" be exposed as a phony. As I wrote then:

"In general. the entire idea of using so-called celebrities who become frum as a Kiruv tool is not smart. The fact that a well-known person became frum may impress some people. But by doing so, you are in effect sending the message that this person's opnion carried weight. You are telling people "Since this person became frum that means you should consider what he says." This is like using a celebrity to endorse a product. In this case, the product in Judaism.
But if you use this person's opinion as leverage for others to become frum, what will happen when and if this same person decides he does not want to be so frum, or he professes some idea that is against the Torah? How can you suddenly tell people what he says doesn't count (and in fact it doesn't) after you used his decision to become frum as a reason to emulate him?