Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Matisyahu is Coming to Town -- I Just Can't Get Enough!

So I think everyone knows how much I look up to Matisyahu (almost as much as I look up to Shlomie Chein, I'll put it that way). I'm pretty sure I've been his biggest fan at various times, as this past summer when I was the only person who followed bumped into him from California to Kansas to 770 in New York. And that was before he really blew up on KROQ and MTV. So, finally, Matisyahu is coming to my little corner of galus: smoky Santa Cruz! He's performing this Thursday night, February 23rd, at the Civic Auditorium. By the way, I happen to know of two people who still have tickets to sell, if anyone needs.

Of course, me and six of my dear Jewish-slug friends just spent this past Shabbos at Jewlicious at the Beach v2.0 in tha LBC, which Matisyahu and his mishpocho also attended. This past summer, back in Overland Park, Kansas, Matis gave a little beat-box performance Friday night for the NCSY kids, but these days he's a busy man, B"H, and saves his voice for when it counts. Although he did give over a d'var Torah, which started with a question that Matis had asked to a certain Breslov chassid who was present.

The question was, "Why was Rabbi Nachman acting so strangely on his journey to Israel?" Essentially, the answer was this: "It is a well known fact that one must lower himself in order to proceed from one step to a higher one. At this time, one must make use of childishness and absolute simplicity¬Ö". The Rebbe never remained on one level, but constantly raised himself step by step. His understanding of these concepts was therefore very profound "deep, deep, who can discern it?" In other words, going to Israel is literally considered "going up" for many reasons. To take full advantage of the spiritual potential in Israel, one must be prepared spiritually (but hopefully FedoraBlack can explain a bit better).

This is my little brother Dylan and Matis. They played basketball, and I hear Matis dominated. So, during Jewlicious, the last panel on Shabbos was "Jews Who Rock on Jewish Music in the age of Matisyahu." Matisyahu, So Called, Rav Shmuel, and Rabbi Yonah all sat on the panel. It was a little awkward, I felt, because most of the questions were directed toward Matis. And one thing I found profoundly interesting is that Matis and Rav Shmuel both didn't think of their music as "Jewish music," but rather just the music that they, as Jews, make. So Called, on the other hand, felt his music to be very Jewish. So what's the point of this post? In less than 24 hours, I'm going to be standing in one very smoky Civic Auditorium looking up at Matis. Which is always something to be excited about.

And, just because the JewniProj hooks you up like that, here's a reminder that Matisyahu will be performing again in the Bay area for Purim at Purimpalooza (what looks to be the biggest Purim celebration on the West Coast--tell me if I'm wrong). And lastly, the new youth video is available on Matisyahu's myspace here. And, Jewschool has an exclusive hour-long video of the performance at Red Rocks 8/20/05.


Blogger Fedora Black said...

The answer to why Rebbe Nachman acted the way he did is taken from Shevachay HaRan, but is only half the story. A bit earlier in this work Reb Nosson, Rebbe Nachman's head student and scribe, mentions that the Rebbe was in danger while in Istanbul on his way to Eretz HaKodesh, both physically and spiritually. The Rebbe mentions that it was the childishness and the resulting insults of those around him that sustained him and indeed saved him while he was in Istanbul. However, there was a catch. As Reb Nosson writes:

The Rebbe said, "At the time, I became so involved in childishness, that I became totally accustomed to acting that way. Later, when I reached the Holy Land, it was difficult to act otherwise. I actually had to force myself to break these childish habits." This had become such a habit that it was very difficult to break. After he had returned from his pilgrimage, he was very unique in this respect, lowering himself in order to reach higher levels. In this respect his wisdom was outstanding.

So you have to be careful lowering yourself, as even people like Rebbe Nachman are in danger of getting stuck. If you find youself in a low spot in life, it may well be that Hashem is giving you the chance to rise up to something higher. But never lower yourself in life, thinking that you will bounce back higher from it. Saying that lowering yourself by eating a ham sandwich, or sleeping with that cute girl you just met at the Blue Lagoon is really for the purpose of an ascent, is just you fooling yourself. Unless you are a Rebbe Nachman, you are bound to get stuck!

Thu Feb 23, 10:37:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Matisyahu youth said...

hey, I may have a bigger blog about Matisyahu, but i think you are his number one fan.

Thu Mar 09, 05:30:00 AM 2006  

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