Posts Tagged ‘conversion’

Shyne takes a shine to Israel

With his recent and highly publicized conversion to Orthodox Judaism, rapper Shyne has been quoted in publications from the Jerusalem Post to the New York Times using words like “נשמה (neshama,)” Hebrew for “soul,” and “גיור (Giyur,)” or conversion. How did Shyne, a former protégé of Sean Combs, (formerly known as Puff Daddy) come to end up in the Holy land of Israel, embrace Judaism and learn Hebrew?

Rapper Shyne before conversion to Orthodox JudaismRapper Shyne since conversion to Orthodox Judaism

The road was twisted, but as Shyne, (or Moshe Levi, the name he has formal taken) puts it, destined from the beginning. Shyne was born in Belize thirty two years ago as an illegitimate child of a prominent lawyer who is now the country’s prime minister. His mother took him to the U.S. where she cleaned houses in New York in order to make a living. Shyne says that his maternal grandmother came from Ethiopia and used to tell him stories about Moses and David, leading him to believe that she was probably Jewish. In any case, this planted in him an identity tied to those personalities and a desire to find out more.During his nine year prison sentence following a high profile court case after a shootout while with Puff Daddy, Shyne stayed upbeat and looked deeper to figure out the purpose of his life. He studied with several rabbis, and after being released he came to study at the center of it all in Jerusalem. He can now be spotted wearing Hasidic garb and quoting from the חומש (Chumash) and the גמרה (Gemara.) And don’t be too surprised if you hear some Hebrew sounding lyrics on the title track of his soon to be released comeback album, “Messiah.”

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