“Time to take the elevator up to the Most High.” “Bless up.” “Lets see what Chef Dee got for breakfast: egg whites, turkey sausage and water!” “Bless up.” “Key to more success is water.”
Unless you have been living in a cave in Cambodia, you should know that what I just described was the morning ritual of DJ Khaled. If you don’t even know who DJ Khaled is, well in that case, you probably live in a rural village in northern Uganda, because almost every single rap song ever made starts with “DJ KHALED.”
To cut to the chase: DJ Khaled is the top-notch DJ behind hit songs like “I’m On One”, “No New Friends” and “Hold You Down”. He was born Khaled Mohamad Khaled and is a Miami-based record producer, DJ, and now-renowned Snapchat superstar known for his motivational and self-empowering snaps.
Despite being a busy college student trying to balance life with school, work and enough time to sleep, I never miss a Snapchat from DJ Khaled (no, I’m not insane.) Since I began following him on Snapchat, about 3 months ago, my quality of life has improved — there are so many amazing life lessons one can learn from Khaled! Here are 10 common terms and/or actions in Khaled’s snapchats and my Jewish interpretation:
1. “BLESS UP”
Dj Khaled says this term at least 50 times per day in his Snapchat (and yes I actually counted). “Bless up” is in many ways synonymous to the Hebrew “Baruch Hashem” (“Thank God!”). Khaled often refers to God and is very appreciative of his life. Whether he’s surrounded with fans or getting caught up in a legal issue, he makes times to be appreciative and thank God for simply being alive, a privilege in and of itself.
2. WATERING PLANTS
Khaled maintains a garden with many varieties of plants, including flowers and fruit trees. He takes time out of his hectic schedule to water his plants every day. He even calls his white flowers his “angels.” Isn’t that beautiful? It’s relevant that we just celebrated Tu B’Shvat, a holiday during which Judaism appreciates trees and fruits. Now if only he was Jewish so we could marry him, but he is not and intermarriage is bad so Khaled can only be our friend and not our romantic other.
3. “THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY”
Dj Khaled often discusses that we should become successful despite what others say or do and we should never let others’ thoughts affect us. He’ll send snaps saying, “There will be roadblocks but we will overcome them”; “Always have faith. Always have hope.” Khaled believes is that if we slow down or choose to not to enjoy life, then we are letting our detractors win. He believes that we should never surrender.
Similar to this is the concept of emunah (trust in God) and knowing that everything is in the hands of God — not the people who are trying to bring you down. People might not want to see you happy, but if you have emunah, that wont matter. As Khaled would say, “Never give up. They don’t want you to be happy, so you should be happy to show them.”
4. RESPECTING AND THANKING “THE MOST HIGH”
Khaled identifies as a devout Muslim and often refers to God as “the Most High.” He does not eat pork, and has Chef Dee avoid making pork dishes, as seen with his breakfast choice of turkey sausage instead of bacon. In this spirit, we should throw him a bar mitzvah! I wonder what he would choose as him Hebrew name…hmm…
5. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
We love DJ Khaled because he is a mitzvah boy. He visits inner-city youth at middle schools and always makes time to catch up with his fans, and the time he spends with them he calls “fan luv.” He does acts of chesed (kindness) on the regular. We just need him to visit sick people for the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim, and Zayde (grandpa) and Bubby (grandma) will approve of him in a heartbeat.
Despite being rich and famous, he retains a down-to-earth persona. He befriended a 16-year-old named Benjamin (“The Sneaker Don”) and serves as his mentor while introducing new clients to him regularly. He also pays his housekeeper stacks of hundred-dollar bills to show his appreciation and is kind to his employees. He also makes time for his fans by hosting meet-ups almost weekly.
7. KEYS TO MORE SUCCESS
“Stay in school”; “Work hard”; “Don’t let they bring you down”. He is a tzaddik for spreading positive energy and for teaching others how to live with a more positive outlook on life.
8. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
DJ Khaled believes the body is sacred and we should keep it clean and well healthy. He does not have any tattoos, showers regularly, applies ample amounts of cocoa butter and preaches good hygiene. In Judaism there is a mitzvah to guard one’s health, and good hygiene is a significant part of that.
9. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
DJ Khaled has so much appreciation for all of God’s creations. He always says thanks God (Baruch Hashem) for his life, food, and nature. While he is jet skiing he will pause and view the scenery and mention to his snapchat followers how beautiful the ocean looks. He never forgets to take time to appreciate his surroundings.
10. “DON’T PLAY YOURSELF”
In Jewish thought, there is the concept of the yetzer ha’tov (the good inclination) and yetzer ha’ra (the evil inclination). They are both integral parts of us and make up who we are, but we have to make sure to overcome the evil inclination — no matter how strong it may be. As DJ Khaled says, “Don’t play yourself.” “You can be your own enemy. You have to make sure you have a clean mindset and a clean soul”. We need to make sure to always have a clean mindset and a clean soul and be aligned with our yetzer ha’tov.