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- Posted on Dec 29th 2012 7:12PM by Spinner
In a new interview with CNN.com, Jewish rap-reggae singer Matisyahu opened up taking a break from his Hasidic faith and adjusting to his new lifestyle.
He revealed that disapproving neighbors was the reason he moved out of his Crown Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y. apartment.
He shared, "I didn't want to confront the people over there. I think that most Hasidic people that I know, that I am actually friends with or that are acquaintances, all say that they think I seem like a happier person now than I was then, and they respect my decision. I tried to stay off the internet. There were times, late at night or whatever, where I would go online, but it always came back to bite me in the ass because you read those comments that are just mean and it hurts."
Leaving his old lifestyle was not an easy process, and Matisyahu explained the difficulties of it.
"I began to realize that there were a lot of things within that lifestyle that were actually holding me back, that were sort of weighing heavy down on me and keeping me from tasting a certain freedom of expression," he said. "In Judiasm there are a lot of rules –- everything from which fingernail you cut first to which side you sleep on in bed, to the way you get dressed in the morning, to actual ideas, like ideas about being chosen people or ideas about female/male and how to interact with people from the opposite sex.
He continued, "So all those things that I tried to mold myself into that never really jibed. So at a certain point ... I basically said, 'I don't need to do all these things. It's my life, I can choose how I want to worship God, what words I want to say. I can say less words.'"
Matisyahu also revealed that his new album Spark Seeker is influenced by Judaism.
"Judaism is just such a huge part of who I am," he said. "I don't think I could separate that at this point. I spent 10 years sort of really immersed heavily in the practice and in the study of Judaism. This record was made when, I wouldn't say phase out, but when I started to expand and explore and let go of a lot of that. But it's still such a part of me that it's inescapable."
Read the full interview here.