Thursday, November 30, 2006

From the mailbag

Aidel Maidel writes:

This post has potential Dov Bear readership. This is the type of minutiae that your readers love to pick apart. Tell me what you think. Or better yet, just link to it. :D

kol tuv and gut shabbes,
The post reads:
Read My Lips

When I was growing up, I spent many years drilled with the concept that intelligent, well read people could read without moving their lips. That you could comprehend without moving your lips. That if you moved your lips while reading it was a sign of low intelligence, stupidity, low class. Only morons moved their lips while reading silently to themselves. I prided myself on acquiring this skill at an early age.

Then I became frum.

And in the process, I was taught otherwise. That davening doesn’t count if you don’t say the words. This implies that one must move their lips. Learning the parsha doesn’t count for schar if you don’t say the actual words. And I was shocked, but because the emphasis on Judaism is action over anything else, I slowly learned how to read while moving my lips.

The transition is almost complete. I frequently read blog posts out loud before I post them, just to make sure they sound correct. I move my mouth while davening, learning, and when I’m having difficulty comprehending what I’m reading (even occasionally in English). And as a matter of habit from doing it with my kids, I frequently find myself with one finger to my mouth (for the international quiet sign) when saying “Baruch Shaim” in Shema. I’ve even caught myself doing it when I daven on the train. A little embarrassing, but second nature at this point.

The question is, how many of my highly educated high school and college compatriots would think I have become a mindless drooling religious idiot now that I move my lips while I read? Do you move your lips?

No comments: