Lip Synching and Deception

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  • #601165
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I’ve been giving recent thought to some conduct of mine last Simchas Torah.

    I love Simchas Torah in our shul. The dancing is exciting. No one gets drunk. Everyone gets involved. The hakafos are of reasonable length.

    I, too, dance in our shul on Simchas Torah. However, my dancing is slightly different than everyone else’s. Most people sing and dance at the same time. I, however, usually dance and lip-synch, but, for the most part, do not actually sing.

    I do this for a reason — as the ba’al kriah in shul, I need to keep my voice. Singing for an hour and a quarter or so (that’s about how long the hakafos last) would put a strain on my voice — so I don’t sing. Yet, on the other hand, I want to look like I’m involved — and so I lip synch.

    Lately, however, I’ve been wondering if there is an element of sheker (lying, deception) in such a thing. Certainly, if anyone were to ask me up front “were you lip-synching?” I would tell the truth, but I don’t know if my willingness to answer truthfully if asked excuses the deception that I am actually actively perpetrating by lip-synching.

    Furthermore, we all know that among the groups that are excluded from the Shechinah are the “Kas Shakranim” — the group of deceivers. I suppose my lip-synching causes me to fall into this group as well and to lose out on any divine reward that I may have coming after my time here on Earth.

    The Wolf

    #835925
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    why do you need to sing (or lip synch) why can’t you dance with your mouth closed or even take a break from singing and dancing to save your voice?

    #835926
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    why do you need to sing (or lip synch) why can’t you dance with your mouth closed or even take a break from singing and dancing to save your voice?

    Good question. Perhaps because I feel like I’m not really participating otherwise.

    Yes, I grant you that that’s a silly feeling… but it’s what I have to work with.

    The Wolf

    #835927
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Good question. Perhaps because I feel like I’m not really participating otherwise.

    so you never take breaks in dancing because you’re not really participating?

    #835928
    cinderella
    Member

    It depends on how you define the word “lying”.

    According to Wikipedia-

    “A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others.

    To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth.”

    When you lip-synch in shul are you intending to deceive others?

    Are you lip-synching so they will think you are singing or are you doing it for yourself?

    Are you doing it with the intention that other people will accept it as the truth, in this case really singing?

    I say no. If you are standing next to someone and you are lip-synching, they know you aren’t really singing. Would you try to make them think you are singing? No. You aren’t doing it with the intention that others will think you are actually singing. Do you really care if people know you aren’t singing? From your post, I get that you are doing it for yourself, to feel more involved.

    #835929
    gefen
    Participant

    If that’s the only thing that will keep you from getting any rewards, then you’re ok- imho.

    Seriously, why would your lip syncing be such a deception? Is everyone really interested in whether YOU are singing? Do you think everyone is just looking at you so see if you’re singing? Everyone is enjoying themselves, including you, so what difference does it make?

    #835931
    mommamia22
    Participant

    It’s impressive that you are thinking about this.

    I’m curious about what you stated about groups of people who are excluded from the shechina. Could you elaborate on that (tell us more about the other groups… Who are they/guilty of what?, etc)

    #835932
    Jothar
    Member

    Many people daven this way, and not just for shemonah esrei. So it better not be sheker.

    #835933
    mommamia22
    Participant

    I once learned that even during shmonah esrei and tehillim a person should whisper loud enough to hear themselves, but not for the next person to hear, or it’s like they didn’t say it.

    #835934
    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    This reminds of the famous shaila about how do you take ma’aser on salt and straw.

    Cinderella,

    I was not aware that wikipedia was the source for the halachic definition of lying. Perhaps you can cite the source that says it is.

    #835935
    mamashtakah
    Member

    Wolf:

    I respect you a lot, and I love your posts.

    I mean no disrespect at all, but please tell me: does anyone in your shule really care whether you were singing or not? If it bothers you to lip-sync, then don’t do it. If someone sees you aren’t singing, simply tell them why. It’s not a big deal.

    #835936
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    This reminds of the famous shaila about how do you take ma’aser on salt and straw.

    Yeah, a regular Eisav HaRasha. That’s me.

    The Wolf

    #835937
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    does anyone in your shule really care whether you were singing or not?

    Probably not. Nonetheless, I still have my concerns.

    If it bothers you to lip-sync, then don’t do it.

    That’s all fine and well for the future. However, since I lack a functioning flux-capacitor, 88 gigawatts of power and a DeLorean, I cannot change any misconceptions that have already happened.

    The Wolf

    #835938
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The halacha is that if someone is davening Shemonah Esrei when the tzibur is up to Modim, he stops, and silently bows, not to appear to be a kofer.

    The same might be said to apply here. *NOT* lip synching when the tzibur is singing Hashem’s praises might be worse than lip synching.

    #835939
    cinderella
    Member

    nishtdayngesheft,

    I was not using wikipedia to pasken a halacha. I was using the definition they gave to find out more about Wolfs question. I am not a posek nor am I pretending to be one.

    #835940
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    The same might be said to apply here. *NOT* lip synching when the tzibur is singing Hashem’s praises might be worse than lip synching.

    You really think that people will think that I’m a kofer if I don’t sing? I think that’s *very* unlikely.

    There are plenty of legitimate grounds to consider me a kofer, but I don’t think the lack of singing during hakafos on Simchas Torah quite rises to that level.

    The Wolf

    #835941

    Wolfish, is it possible that you actually lip sync inorder to participate, by saying the words to yourself? It’s hard to hear that that would be sheker.

    #835942
    passfan
    Member

    Wolf, do you think people will consider you a kofer if you don’t bow with the tzibur by modim, if you are in middle of s”e? Yet as DY pointed out the halacha is that you do. So the comparison is applicable to your case.

    #835943
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You really think that people will think that I’m a kofer if I don’t sing? I think that’s *very* unlikely.

    No, nor do I think people will consider you a kofer if you don’t bow at Modim when you’re in the middle of S”E. You’re still not supposed to do things that give off a bad appearance, though.

    #835944
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    No, nor do I think people will consider you a kofer if you don’t bow at Modim when you’re in the middle of S”E. You’re still not supposed to do things that give off a bad appearance, though.

    Your example (“faking it” by Modim) is part of normative halacha. Therefore, that is an occasion where the “deceit” is explicitly sanctioned by halacha. I don’t think my case has the same explicit permission to deceive.

    The Wolf

    #835945
    passfan
    Member

    Halacha derives one area from other areas in psak, even if isn’t explicit. It seems to me you are seeking to frame yourself in the worst possible light, as implausible as it is.

    #835946
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Your example (“faking it” by Modim) is part of normative halacha. Therefore, that is an occasion where the “deceit” is explicitly sanctioned by halacha. I don’t think my case has the same explicit permission to deceive.

    Well, you can certainly now justify it by saying “you were told” it’s okay. 😉

    #835947
    amichai
    Participant

    you are doing it for a reason, so you don’t strain your voice. no need to explain yourself to anyone.

    #835948
    HaKatan
    Participant

    Wolf, I appreciate your sensitivity, but I don’t think there’s a problem to lip-sync on Simchas Torah, unless you do so in such a way that really draws attention to your “singing”.

    In other words, moving your lips in a way that conveys you are singing loudly when in fact you are silent, seems to be an issue when viewed through this sensitivity. But merely moving your lips to the tune is a legitimate expression in joining in the simcha, just as dancing animatedly with your mouth closed would be participation.

    So I don’t think it’s sheker to lip-sync at Simchas Torah as part of the kahal, because people participate in different ways, and one way of participating, in the case of a sore throat, cold or other need to protect the vocal chords, is by utilizing lip-sync. Seems okay to me.

    #835949
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Wolf,

    There are a lot of people who “lip-sync” during Simchas Torah, either because their voices get tired, or they aren’t sure of all of the words of the song, or perhaps for your reasons, yet they still want to participate as much as possible.

    Are you therefore to say that all of these Jews do not merit the Shechina’s presence? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Don’t give us the “this only applies to me” stuff. Sheker is sheker, no matter who does it.

    As someone who has lip-synced during Simchas Torah for several of the reasons I mentioned above, I am bothered by this trolling thread.

    #835950
    squeak
    Participant

    “88 gigawatts of power”

    You can be a koifer if you so choose and I won’t say a thing, but I can’t allow this to go by withot a protest.

    Great Scott – everyone knows its 1.21 gigawatts and 88 mph! Why are you trying to deceive people? Koifer!

    #835951
    ZosHaTorah
    Participant

    I would assume the lip-synching gives “chizuk” to others who are dancing and singing. People generally like to fit in with others. So I look at your lip synching more as a white lie (in order to do good for the sibor), which we know in some cases is fully permissible.

    BTW, I think your question is not out of the realm of asking your LOR a shaila. Not that the CR isn’t full of people who play poskim on tv. 🙂

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