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OTRC: Matisyahu shaves beard, goes to synagogue (Photos)

Matisyahu, a popular Ultra-Orthodox Jewish reggae rapper, recently posted a photo of himself looking clean-shaven after years of sporting a long beard and mustache.

The 32-year-old's former trademark look is similar to that of many religious Jews. Matisyahu's posting raised concerns among many of his fans that he may have left Judaism.

"For all of those who are being awesome, you are awesome," he Tweeted on Tuesday. "For all those who are confused: Today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday."

A mikva is a body of water that observant Jews swim in to achieve ritual purity. A shul is the Yiddish word for synagogue.

The rapper, who was born Matthew Paul Miller in Pennsylvania and was raised in New York, had had explained the haircut in a message on his website.

"No more Chassidic reggae superstar," he wrote. "Sorry folks, all you get is me ... no alias."

He said that he first became religious 10 years ago in a bid to "discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality - not through books but through real life."

"I am reclaiming myself," he said. "Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don't worry ... you haven't seen the last of my facial hair."

More than 190 fans posted messages underneath his announcement, including a person with the username "ConfusedFan," who wrote: "So are you denouncing your Faith?"

Matisyahu Tweeted on Wednesday, December 14: "Thought of an analogy on the way home from Shul this morning. Everyone was walking with plastic bags picking up their dog's (expletive). Here it is: there is a lot of (expletive) on the sidewalk. Be careful not to step in it. Focus only on it, and you'll miss the sunrise.

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