Matisyahu. A Hasidic Jew…who does hip-hop and reggae. Definitely something special about this brother. I have been on this trip lately of learning about my Jewish brothers and sisters and their relationship to the Christian tradition. This actually started with my reading of various Jesus and Pauline scholars (e.g. N.T. Wright, Krister Stendahl, Geza Vermes, Richard Horsley, Bruce Malina, et al.). Reading John Howard Yoder’s book The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited a couple of years ago was an eye-opening experience for me. I am currently reading Christianity in Jewish Terms. A passage from the book that has stuck with me is from Stanley Hauerwas in his essay Christian Ethics in Jewish Terms: A Response to David Novak:
As I suggested at the beginning, Christians in the West are just beginning to learn to live the way Jews have had to live since Christians took over the world by making Caesar a member of the church. Put simply, we must learn from the Jews how to survive in a world that is not constituted by the recognition much less the worship of our God. In the process of acquiring the wisdom the Jews have hewn from their struggle to survive Christianity, Christians might also learn that our destiny is inseparable from the destiny of the Jews. p.140
That’s why I am excited about Emergent meeting up with some of our Jewish brothers and sisters…at S3k.
Listening to brothers like Matisyahu makes me more aware of how we Christians have plenty of common ground and suspicious that we share a common destiny often not acknowledged.
Here’s a video clip of his title track “King without a Crown”. He has a new album coming out on March 7th titled “Youth”.
Enjoy. This brother would definitely lead worship at a Postmodern Black Church.