Matisyahu Teams With PETA On Fur: What’s He Thinking?


matisyahuJewish reggae star Matisyahu has sent an urgent letter on PETA’s behalf to Israeli government leaders urging them to support a bill currently in the Knesset that would ban the fur trade in Israel. If the bill

passes, Israel will be the first country to prohibit the production, sale, and importation of all fur products (with the exception of shtreimelach).

Writes Matisyahu, “I hope you will agree that the way that animals suffer and die in the fur trade violates the fundamental principle of tza’ar ba’alei chayim, which forbids gratuitous cruelty to animals.”

PETA claims that “animals on fur farms spend their entire lives in cramped, filthy cages before they are bludgeoned, beaten, or stomped to death. Many animals are still alive and struggling as their skin is torn from their bodies.”

Matisyahu joins several members of the British Parliament in showing support for this bill.

Matisyahu’s letter to members of the Knesset follows:

June 18, 2010

The Honorable MK Zevulun Orlev
CC: The Honorable MK Ronit Tirosh
The Knesset

Via e-mail

Dear Mr. Orlev,

I’m writing on behalf of my friends at PETA to ask that you please support a strong statement against cruelty to animals by voting for the Knesset’s bill to prohibit the fur industry in Israel. Please take a moment to view this video, which shows undercover footage of animals as they are beaten and even skinned alive for their fur. After watching the footage, I hope you will agree that the way that animals suffer and die in the fur trade violates the fundamental principle of tza’ar ba’alei chayim, which forbids gratuitous cruelty to animals.

I look forward to hearing that you will do the right thing and support this bill. Thank you for your time and consideration.



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  1. does he also agree with them on what they had to say about his fellow lubavitcher’s sentencing??
    ” at least now sholom rubashkin wont be able to harm animals for 27 years?”…what a sick organization!!!
    p.s. someone please inform mattisyahu that teffilin are made from leather and it may be causing the animals harm, so he could probably get a heter not to wear them!

  2. Who says the guy actually “thinks” before he does something like this?

    And to the commenter who wants to know his position on “a fellow Lubavitcher’s sentencing”, I recall an interview he gave over 2 years ago where he said his connection to Lubavitch has weakened…

  3. I totally agree with #2! He is doing a Kiddush Hashem. It is Tzaar Baalei Chaim to kill animals for fur when there are viable alternatives available.

  4. tefillin could be made from skins of dead kosher animals, no need to kill, for sure not torture them.

    Matisyahu himself is not a lubavitcher in the full sense, he is a recent BT through Lubavitch, going through a phase of growing long peyos and considering himself a Karliner Chassid, at the same time singing weird rock music and writing letters on behalf of “his friends at PETA”. Seems to me a quite confused cookie.

  5. Mattisyahu has lost it if he’s teaming up with PETA. PETA is a fantical group. Look how they have ruined Sholom Rubashkin’s life!
    They are rotzchim. Matisyahu should be told to stay away from them no matter how well meaning he is.

  6. i wouldn’t read too much in to this. I doubt matisyahu knows that much about the rubashkin case, especially not all the intricate details involved. After all i dont think he reads matzav or yeshivaworld! the little that he might know about it is from the media which probably did not potray any connection between peta and rubashkin.

    it could be a sinister ploy by peta to ask matisyahu to send a letter on their behalf, knowing that he is a religious jew, after they just went after rubashkin – a religious jew

  7. One question for all those who are so aghast at Matisyahu’s environmentally and socially conscious letter:

    Why would frum yidden support the fur industry? Do you think hakadosh baruch is proud of people killing animals for the sake of their fur?

    Have you confused politically conservative values with daas torah?

    What is going on here?

  8. What is he thinking??? Very simple its called MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!!!!! Yes he will get endorsement money soon from vegan clothing companies.

  9. He’s not lost. He knows that any publicity is good publicity.

    He’s being a tzaddik on other people’s cheshbon. He wants to take away fur products from other people and force everyone not to be in or support the fur business.

    Killing an animal is perfectly according to halacha if it benefits you. That is not tsaar baalei chaim.

    Let him transfer his concern to Gilad Shalit.

  10. Bad move by Matisyahu, who I happen to know. He is a great person, a gentleman and the nicest guy you could meet. But this is a mistake teaming up with PETA. PETA is to be stayed away from.

  11. I don’t understand– if the footage is real (and with PETA you can’t rely of their take on even real footage– think of Agriprocessors) then what is wrong with this bill?

  12. PETA is by and large an organazation full of phsycotic nut jobs. That being said the way animals are treated in fur and factory farms is beyond disgusting and very wrong. I honestly dont understand why frum yidden would be against banning fur or why they would want to support such a cruel industry

  13. Matisyahu, please retract. I beg you. This makes you look so silly.
    You are a good guy with great talent. Don’t get mixed up with people for the ethical treatment of themselves.

  14. matisyahu is totaly wrong for joining with PETA
    It might be tzaar baalei chayim etc., but PETA are not the ones to teach us DAAS TORAH!!!

  15. My rav says that if someone is vegan because they think it’s unethical to eat animals- they are kofrim. If Hashem gave us animals to eat, are we saying we have more rachmanus than Him?

    Also, sifrei Torah are made from animal skins too!
    And if anyone feels that is it wrong to wear fur streimels- is Matisyahu more sympathetic than all the chassidishe rebbes and gedolim?

    About PETA- they are reshoim, who care more about animals than people. They were evil people way before Rubashkin came around.

    If you read history, you’ll see that the Nazis began with banning shechita. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to equate the rishus of PETA with Naziism- they have messed up priorities!

  16. To #23:
    You write,”People. Eating .Tasty. Animals , are the Roshie Taivos of PETA”
    A little thought won’t hurt. It should be: PETA are the Roshie Taivos of People. Eating .Tasty. Animals

  17. what is wrong with all you people
    1) He never said to stop eating meat
    2) If you have ever spent time on ‘modern’ farms as I have, you will know that many animals are treated cruelly that Hashem cries over

    Fact: IN AMERICA !!!
    Avg. life from birth to death of chicken u eat -> 4 weeks

    Egg laying chickens live in sheds in little cages for 4 months at which point the shed doors are closed and they are gassed. Once dead, their bodies are thrown into large pits and covered with lime

    When I saw this, I cried like a baby -> it is EXACTLY what the nazis did

    The Fur industry, particularly in Asia are extremely cruel and careless about animals

    You can still eat meat and still wear leather, but understand what type of life the animal led before it was killed…. some animals are treated as products of G-d, others are treated disgracefully

  18. The late Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M wrote a letter responding to an animal rights activist questioning the making of tefilin. If I’m not mistaken there were 2 main points. a)The best tikkun for an animal is that is being used by Yidden for a dvar mitzvah. b)Althogh there is a mitzva of tza’ar ba’alai chaim, that’s only if it’s unecessary, but if it is needed for human purposes, HUMAN NEEDS COME FIRST!!!
    So, Mr. Matisyahu, although you may be right in theory that it’s wrong to torture animals, You have to know what is right & when!!!!

  19. You all realize that the bil still allows for fur to be used for Steimels, so obviously it appears that Matisyahu distinguishes between the death of animals for a torah concept or tradition (i.e. if he’s cool with fur being used for Streimels which last I checked, wearing on is not halacha then certainly he would have no issue with Teffilin) and between simply “wanting” to own fur (i.e. that scarf looks nice, and I don’t care how many animals were tortured to get it). If you don’t see this as a violation of torah law, you might need to dig a bit deeper. Lastly, don’t judge someone without knowing all the facts.

  20. The issue is not whether wearing fur is a mitzvah, or if tsar baalei chaim is involved in processing it. The issue is teaming up with a group that puts animals ahead of humans. That is denifinately not a proper hashkafa.

  21. To all you people concerned about fur and cruelty to animals (and I can fully believe the charges against China): can you come up with other ways to work for these practices to be stopped, besides teaming up with PETA or other groups that cannot make the distinction between the value of a human life and the value of an animal life? We’re prepared to take you seriously.

  22. can everyone stop fighting. cant we all just get along. ok sometimes people make comments that arent so intelligent but you dont have to riducule them and call them rashaim or kofrim, just let it be and let us all get along.

  23. Fellow jews: This is the first blog i have ever read in my life, and i am apalled. Have none of you any more productive things to to spend your time on than write comments about other people whom you don’t know from a hole in the wall? If you are so confident in your opinions, why don’t you leave your full names, addresses, and phone numbers, to see what type of reaction you will get from people who actually know about the topic at hand? You speak about issurei tzar ballei chayim, etc…, but have any of you have any of you ever heard of Lashon Hara, which the Gemara, (shabbos,33a)says about “For this sin they deepen Gehennom”? Please ammend your ways my brothers, and may H-shem grant you all the best..

  24. 47: does your vision of eis l’aasos laHashem condone tzaar baalei chaim?

    And Mandy, et al, do you know of any organization other than PETA that one could work with without having to hold one’s nose? And suspend one’s logical thinking?

  25. Thank you all you “learned yidden” for showing how quick to judge you are, how angry, how nasty, how misinformed, how much you like to excuse your sins of leshon hara, tzaar balei chayim, baal tashchis, sinas chinom, etc., etc. How naive and small-minded of you to believe the propaganda of cruel Factory Farming. How sick of you to treat Hashem’s Creation with such casual disregard. How embarrassing to the Creator. Hashem forgive us!!!!