Matisyahu no longer Hasidic, shaves trademark beard

matisyahu-beard-no-beard.jpgSinger Matisyahu, who converted to Hasidic Judaism at age 19 and has become known for both his reggae-rap songs and his trademark traditional beard, has had a change of faith. Sort of.

Matisyahu surprised fans this week when he tweeted a photo of himself, barely recognizable without his beard, alongside lyrics from his 2009 song "Thunder." "At the break of day I look for you at sunrise When the tide comes in I lose my disguise," he posted.

By way of explanation, he took to his blog.

"This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter," he says. "No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me...no alias.  When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process.  It was my choice.  My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality--not through books but through real life.  At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity...to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth.  I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules--lots of them--or else I would somehow fall apart.  I am reclaiming myself.  Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth.  And for those concerned with my naked face, don't worry...you haven't seen the last of my facial hair."

He also clarifies that he has not turned away from religion entirely and is still Jewish. "For all those who are confused:today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday," he says.
Photo/Video credit: Getty/Twitter