"Matisyahu" is a Hasidic jew who happens to be an amazingly brilliant reggae musician. I am so inspired to see someone who embraces an "ultra-religious, conservative lifestyle" succeeding in the limelight. The music world, especially, is filled with talented people who have absolutely no f*&^%$-ing clue what they really stand for- Brittney Spears comes to mind immediately, but also the slews of musicians who have committed suicide- Elliot Smith, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elivis Presley, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, the lead singer from INXS...the list goes on and on. Fame and fortune will chew you up and spit you out if you don't have a firm foundation, if you don't have a solid rock to cling to.
Matisyahu, to me, is living the fullest expression of a human being worshipping our Lord. He is living the true meaning of the word "Islam" which means to "surrender". He is the definition of a true "muslim" which is "one who submits himself to the will of God". The Light of God is shining through every aspect of his being. Apparently that's what being Hasidic is all about.
The Muslim community has a lot in common with the Hassidim. They have many of the same customs regarding dress code, prayer times, etc. However the most profound thing I find about the Hassidim is that the basic premise of their spirituality is that it isn't enough to follow the letter of the law, or to merely say the required prayers, to wear the correct religious clothing, etc. but you must have the correct feeling.
A person's inner state is more important than his or her outer expression of piety.
"Man," says the Besht, "must always bear in mind that God is omnipresent and is always with him; that God is the most subtle matter everywhere diffused... Let man realize that when he is looking at material things he is in reality gazing at the image of the Deity which is present in all things. With this in mind man will always serve God even in small matters."
The Quran also echoes the same message;
"To God belongs the East and the West, Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God. " Qur'an 2:115