The Hasidic world is rocked. Matisyahu, a singer who shattered all boundaries in Jewish music and became a legend in the US and the world, has launched a modeling career as well. He has recently become Kenneth Cole's newest icon, representing the company's take on diversity in America.
Matisyahu became an international musical star a few years ago, when his first album sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the US alone. His original style, which combines Jewish themes with sounds of reggae and hip hop, is matched by his funky Hasidic look.
As part of the Kenneth Cole ad campaign, Matisyahu explains that his parents sent him to Jewish schools in order to strengthen his ties to his Jewish identity, but this did not go well. According to him, the first time he felt connected to his roots was at the age of 14, upon hearing Bob Marley's 'Exodus', which quotes from the bible.
"Music crosses all boundaries and reaches everyone," he claims. "In Judaism they say that words that come from the heart penetrate the heart. I believe we need to live our lives according to inner truth, to break the stereotypes and discover the person behind physical exterior."