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Matisyahu

In: People

Submitted By dfisch10
Words 3735
Pages 15
Matisyahu

By:
Dylan Garrity
Harris Teiger
Steven Cronley
David Fischer

Background

Growing up in White Plains, New York, Matthew Paul Miller was raised as a Reconstructionist Jew. Reconstructionist Judaism is an American-based Jewish movement that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. Miller spent most of his childhood attending Hebrew school at a local synagogue getting to know his religion, however that quickly changed as he became a teenager. His teenage years consisted of rebelling against his upbringing as most adolescents do. However, Miller quickly took the path of drugs and dropped out of high school to follow his favorite band Phish on a national tour (Askmen). According to an article by Jordana Horn, Miller said, “Like a lot of American kids, I was not really interested in Judaism and was around that age of starting to make self-discovery. A few things kind of came together for me”, and after a brief stint in a rehabilitation center he went to discover himself in Oregon (Horn, 2008).
After Oregon he began to identify himself as “Matt, the Jewish rapper kid of New York” draping himself with an Israeli flag and singing prayers he remembers from synagogue. Miller soon felt like the “token Jew” and moved himself back to New York where he fell into a depression. He spent many hours alone in his room just writing music and practicing along with instrumental tapes. Through his own solitary journey, Miller became more spiritual and had a strong reconnection with his Jewish beliefs. He started up classes on Jewish Spirituality at The New School and there connected with Eli Cohen (a rabbi at NYU) (Horn, 2008). The rabbi asked him to put tefillin on a boy, which gave Miller an organic experience and led him to: ask more questions, begin praying, getting himself a siddur and tallit, and more.
After going to Carlebach Shul for every…...

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