Thursday, August 24, 2006

Shemona Esrei Part 2

It is, or should be a well known Halacha that when davening Shemona Esrei one should say the words so they can hear themselves but no one else should hear them. Meaning you should not say your Shemona Esrei so it is audible to others. One can see this halacha written in almost every single siddur whether in the back (artscroll) or before Shemona Esrei in many all Hebrew siddurim.

If this is a Halacha, how come many people don't follow it. When I am trying to recite Shemona Esrei, I do not need to hear someone else's. There was an article on someone's blog which I don't remember about whether or not you should say Amen to someone's Bracha during their Shemona Esrei if they are saying it loud enough for you to hear. My first reaction after reading this was that you shouldn't be able to hear someone else's Shemona Esrei so this shouldn't be a question. Apparently that's not the case. People tell me that when you go to shul that you should just sit away from these people. What if they come late and plop right next to you? What are you supposed to do? In the neighborhood I live in, I can identify who some of these people are so I can sit on the opposite side of the shul of them. What if you can hear them even if you are on the other side of the room? What if one of these people is a Rabbi in the community? You would think that a Rabbi would know this halacha. If a person has a hearing problem so they can't hear themselves which is why they are loud, don't they realize? Why can't they go in a corner and daven in a way so the sound doesn't travel and disturb other people? Do some people daven out loud because they want everyone to hear that they are actually davening?? Which is worse, talking during the rest of davening and disturbing people or saying Shemona Esrei out loud and disturbing people? It is a halacha as well ,ven though people do it, not to shout out Yaaleh Viyavo in the middle of Shemona Esrei to remind people to say it. I always find that the people who do this usually rush through their Shemona Esrei so they can be the first to scream Yaaleh Viyavo like they are the entire minyans savior for saying it. Rabbaim developed ways to make up for skipping it by accident, because people are not supposed to shout out Yaaleh Viyavo. I thought the universal custom amongst all Jews was to bang twice on the shtender to remind everyone Before they start their Shemona Esrei. By bringing up these issues, I don't feel that I am being critical, these are just things that drive me nuts. Maybe the Rav's of shuls should make little halacha reminders before davening so these things shouldn't happen. The only problem with this is too many Jews don't listen to what Rabbaim say anyway so it wouldn't make any difference.

8 comments:

Litvak said...

" I always find that the people who do this usually rush through their Shemona Esrei so they can be the first to scream Yaaleh Viyavo like they are the entire minyans savior for saying it."

LOL !

yitz said...

I've seen in brought in the name of the "Shulchan Aruch HaRav", which is the Shulchan Aruch authored by the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya [and often brought by the Mishna Brura], that the issur that one should not daven so loud as to be heard applies only outside of Daled Amos, approximately 6 feet or 2 meters. Within that radius, one may be heard, but it shouldn't disturb the person next to him. In general, if possible, one should stand far enough away from the next person to be OUTSIDE of his Daled Amos.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Yitz- I understand the point you are trying to make but I disagree with you. The way the shuls were set up in Russia and Europe were much different and much bigger where you would probably have a much bigger place to daven making it possible to be daled amos away from another person. In most shuls today because of the pews or chairs and size, you are on top one another and most of the time you are within three amos of a person. I am going to have a post about a similar topic to this coming up. There are also echos and some people whisper not realizing that when you wisper the sound carries a lot further than if they were reciting the Shemona Esrei to themselves. Unfortunately this situation happened to me again this morning. At least i was able to identify another person who davens like this so I can sit far from him next time i see him in shul. I was also not shocked to notice that this guys car had dents all over it and also talks in shul.

yitz said...

I strongly doubt that the Shuls and shtiblach of the poor Jews of Eastern Europe were as spacious as the synagogues of today's America. Have you ever seen what they call the "shtibel" in Englewood, NJ?

FrumWithQuestions said...

No, but have you seen the pictures of some of the shuls in Eastern Europe? They were huge. The main shuls in Italy that I visited were also huge. Have you ever davened in 770 , Bobov, or Shomrei Shabbos in New York? You don't have an inch to move so how do you stay away from somebody? And if the other people davening know they are close to someone they should daven silently.

goyisherebbe said...

Because people were impoverished, real estate was cheaper. Because of infant mortality there weren't as many youth around. So yes, I believe there was more personal space in shuls in Europe in the old days.

FrumGirl said...

I hate to break it to you... have you ever driven in East New York? Its even crazier there....

FrumWithQuestions said...

FrumGirl- The drivers might be crazier in East New York but at least they know how to drive. If you go down a block in East New York you will not find many cars with dents in them.