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Matisyahu’s baby gets heart surgery

Singer asks fans to pray for Sasha Lil, says her operation went well

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Singer Matisyahu with his daughter Sasha Lil, May 12, 2015. (Matisyahyu/Facebook)
Singer Matisyahu with his daughter Sasha Lil, May 12, 2015. (Matisyahyu/Facebook)

Jewish reggae rapper Matisyahu let his fans know on Tuesday that his infant daughter was to undergo heart surgery. He asked for people to say a prayer for her, mentioning that her name was Sasha Lil.

Early on Wednesday the singer posted on social media that the operation was successful, writing, “Sasha Lil’s surgery went well. Thank you everyone for your prayers. Amazing!”

While some may have been taken by surprise to know that the little girl had health problems, others may have been taken aback to know that Matisyahu, 35, even has a daughter.

The singer has three sons, Shalom, Menachem Mendel and Laivy, from his marriage to his ex-wife Talia. Matisyahu and Talia divorced after he began to move away from Hasidic Judaism in 2011. The formerly bearded Matisyahu announced this shift by posting a photo of his clean-shaven face on Instagram. He and his ex-wife reportedly remain on good terms and are co-parenting their boys, who attend Chabad schools in Los Angeles.

Sasha was born a little over a year ago from a relationship the singer had with a woman named Toma Danley, a friend living in Bend, Oregon, whom he met when he was a teenager participating in a wilderness therapy program there.

It would seem that Matisyahu and Danley are no longer together, as a man from Bend named Alex C. Meyer recently posted on Facebook—with Danley’s permission—that he and Danley are engaged to be married.

Matisyahu is currently promoting his new album, “Akeda,” which came out a decade after his 2005 breakthrough album, “Live at Stubb’s.” While his relationship with Judaism is reportedly complicated at the moment, the songs on the new album are full of biblical references. They also deal with the frustrations he feels regarding fans’ expectations of him since his leaving Hasidism.

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