If one is davening b'yichidut (praying by oneself), without a minyan, do they need to say the amidah silently or can they say it out loud?

Phrased another way, what is the reason for praying the amidah silently when praying with a minyan? Is it so as not to disturb other people who are also praying, or is there another reason that would no longer apply when one is not praying with a minyan?

2 Answers 2


OC 101 (2) and MB s.k.5 and especially 6. MB: One reason not to raise the voice is not to disturb others. Other reasons are to be like the prayer of Channa; to avoid being one of those of little faith who do not believe that HaShem hears prayers uttered quietly and to avoid being like the false prophets who cry out loud to false gods. But the important thing is not to disturb others.

OC: If necessary to concentrate on the prayer and one is alone, it is permitted to raise one’s voice.

Rema: If one davens aloud to instruct one’s household, this is permitted.

  • Definitely like Channa. In the middle of Masechet Brachot it speaks of this. Lamed Alef amud Alef
    – user5478
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 14:54
  • 3
    In the Talmud Yerushalmi, it actually instructs that you should say Shemoneh Esrei out lout in your home so that your family will learn; in the Beit Knesset, however, you should be silent. I think this is where the Rema gets the idea that you might say it out loud at home. Commented May 25, 2014 at 19:53

You may encounter opinions that recommend not doing that, based on kabbalistic sources:

Pri Etz Hayyim - Sha'ar Ha-Amidah - Chapter 2

אין להתפלל תפלה שבלחש בקול רם, כי בלחש אנו מעמידין יעקב ורחל בנ"ה דז"א, ובחזרה אנו רוצין להעלותה יותר למעלה עד חו"ג, יעקב בחסד ורחל בגבורה. ודע, כי בהיותן בנצח הוד, ששם אחיזת הקליפות, לכן צריך התפלה בלחש, שלא יתעוררו שם החיצונים. ואחר כך בחזרה, שאז עולין בחג"ת אין פחד, לכן אז העמידה בקול רם. וזהו הטעם שאין חזרת העמידה אלא ברבים, לפי שהם חג"ת, כי אין רבים פחות מג'. ואם תגביה קולך בעמידה דלחש, תגרום לאחיזת הקליפות, לכן הזהר מאוד שלא תגביה קולך. אין לומר העמידה בשחרית ובמנחה כי אם בלחש, ואח"כ יאמר החזרה בקול רם

  • Doesn't this imply that it would be fine to speak out loud with at least 3 people, regardless of the presence of a tzibur?
    – WAF
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 13:20
  • @WAF, I wouldn't know--I don't understand much of what's in that text I quoted. It seems like an interesting point, though. I don't know if it's related, but, there's also the distinction in Halakhah of a requirement of only 3 people for zimun in birkat ha-mazon, as opposed to 10.
    – paquda
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 17:54

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