Monday, April 10, 2006


I've kinda tried to stay out of the whole Matisyahu machlokes, for a number of reasons - probably because I'm not 100% sure of my opinion on the matter. But, I just heard that he is playing at the 2006 HFStival. Now, none of you have probably been to this event, but I have. I've been a couple of times (in my yesteryear), and let me just tell you that it is no place for a beard-wearing, tzitzis-flying individual. I'm not going to give specifics, but if you want them as to what goes on at this festival, let me know. I'll assume he doesn't know what he's getting himself into - someone needs to tell him.

Also, it's a 2-day event and he's slated to play on Saturday. I remember the concert ending at about 9ish (although I always attended on Sunday), but Shabbos in Baltimore doesn't end until about 9:10 that Shabbos. I'm going to assume that either that's a typo or the festival runs much later on Saturday night. The lineup looks amazing, but still, no place for a guy like him to be.


Blogger SephardiLady said...

Care to enlighten the ignorant about what this festival is? When I say ignorant, make that really ignorant. I've never been to a popular music concert, Jewish or non-Jewish.

I have been to orchestras and military band concerts.

3:01 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

First of all, just wanted to brag about the fact that I've been to many wife was in one. Anyway, WHFS is a local rock station. Every year they have "HFStival", a 2-day event, usually in a large stadium with a whole line-up of popular rock/rap groups. On this years lineup I saw: Matisyahu, Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Good Charlotte, and others. A good lineup,'s not for the frum. There is a stench of pot smoke in the air, as well as a plethora of topless girls on guy's shoulders getting groped by the masses...

BTW, nothing I just said was an exaggeration at all.

3:08 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger SephardiLady said...

Oy! Even if he goes on stage with a blindfold, this does not sound like the environment to be in. Yuck!

This stuff never happens at classical concerts or military band concerts! (And, I've been criticized for listening to "non-Jewish" music).

5:54 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger Jack Davidov said...

You can look at it one way - how can a frum person go into that kind of environment? Another way of looking at - how can a frum person who is capable of reaching out to people who are very distant from Hakadosh Baruch Hu not seize the opportunity to do so? There will probably be hundreds of Jews there who have never been exposed to true Judaism. Maybe out of those hundreds there will be some who will be touched by Matisyahu's music. If you had that power to affect people and possibly change their lives, how could you not use it?

7:47 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...


Give me a break. There is a difference between singing at a mixed dancing event to possibly touch people, or to sing with breasts staring you in the face - this is what he would be dealing with.

Let me give you an extreme example: if you knew that a person would 100% become frum if a frum yid had sex with her - would that be okay? Of course not. Clearly, that is an extreme case, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Please.

8:52 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger Jack Davidov said...

I definitely understand where you are coming from. I would suspect that he will have his glasses off when he performs. I also don't think that it is 100% certainty that there will be topless women around when he is on stage.

Chazal say that Avraham Avinu stands at the doorway to Gehinom and saves anyone with a Bris Milah. I'm sure that Avraham Avinu could have been in a better environment than the gateway to Hell - but he feels that saving people takes a precedence. Obviously you have to pick your battles, but if someone has such a great opportunity to help people - you just can't turn that down.

9:36 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...


There is a 100% certainly that there will be topless women. I attended this concert for 3 years and know this to be the case.

Matisyahu, Avraham Avinu, Matisyahu, Avraham Avinu...yeah, they're kinda different.

9:44 PM, April 10, 2006

Blogger Lanie said...

I think the real question is, what is Matisyahu's goal in all of this? Is it to outreach to Jews? Or, is it just to be a performer for the masses who happens to be Orthodox and has a spiritual element to his great reggae music? If it's the latter then I'm not surprised by the fact that he's playing at HFStival. That's what you do when you're a performer. If he's trying to inspire Jews then there's definitely a better way of going about it then going to a scene as the one described by Alanlaz. While there's such a thing as being selfless, anyone who is involved in Kiruv knows you that you and your family are ALWAYS your #1 priority, and if you feel that your religious values are being compromised, you stay away. But, it could be that he doesn't feel that his religious values are being compromised in this situation. I don't know because I'm not him and whatever he decides to do is his decision. But, I don't think that any of us can really speculate unless we 100% know Matisyahu's intent as a performer.

8:10 AM, April 11, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

I think either way you slice it it's no good.

I think if he's "Orthodox and has a spiritual element to his great reggae music", its still not a place to be, because Breast Fest (oops, I mean HFStival) is no place for an orthodox man to be, performer or not. And of course, if it's for Kiruv, it's no good for the aforementioned reasons.

8:18 AM, April 11, 2006

Anonymous Lets talk topless (i mean tachles) said...


The answer to your hypo is that it depends what the girl looks like....Also mattisyahu is giving jews a good name, let's not be so quick to rain on his parade even if its not such a kosher environment.

9:26 AM, April 11, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...


You are right. However, most of the girls at this thing are not a sight to be seen (who really fantasizes about punk rock chicks anyway). By the way, for those who can't tell, I'm joking.

Anyway, there's no doubt he's a tremendous Kiddush Hashem. The question is: how far should one go to make a Kiddush Hashem? I think this falls too far over the line...

9:37 AM, April 11, 2006

Blogger Jewboy said...

Alanlaz-You really wanted to emphasize that last thought, eh?

11:56 AM, April 11, 2006

Blogger aishel said...

As with most cases, maybe its about money. We saw that he already turned on his managers even though he had three years on his contract to go (article). So when their's money to be made, maybe he just goes for it.

3:04 PM, April 11, 2006


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