Several years ago, a sofer gave a class and said that personal prayers (prayers composed by myself) outside the synagogue must be said aloud. You can say them quietly, but the words must be audible. But in Plaut's "The Torah - A Modern Commentary" (Revised Edition) on p.300 he is commenting on Parashat Vayigash 45:16

The report was heard in Pharaoh’s palace: “Joseph’s brothers have arrived!” And this pleased Pharaoh and his courtiers,

and writes that,

The Hebrew word for "report" is written in a constricted fashion. For it is the voice that is small which is often heard more than any other. This also teaches us to pray silently (my emphasis), for G-d hears the prayer of the heart.

So is it a matter of preference or custom whether to pray aloud or silently outside the synagogue, or are there halachic arguments relating to this question?

  • Jewish Law says (Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 101:2): And one should not only pray in one's heart, but one must actually enunciate the words with one lips and let them be heard in a whisper tone by one's own ears, [however] one should not let one's voice be heard [fully during the Amidah]. [However,] if one is unable to direct one's intention [to the Amidah] while in a whisper tone, one is allowed to raise one's voice. And this is [only] when one is praying privately, but [if one is praying] with the congregation, it is forbidden, as this is a nuisance for the congregation.
    – Shmuel
    Dec 25, 2022 at 20:58
  • First, I need to know what the Sofer was referring to with "personal prayers"? Personal Prayers composed by oneself, or Required Public Prayers being said privately? In case it's the latter, I don't know if the "silently" you quote from the Commentary means literal silence. Rather it may mean quietly but loud enough to be audibly heard (to oneself). I believe that is how Chanah davened next to Eili, and we learn to pray Shemona Esrai like her. So, though I didn't see this Commentary that you're quoting, I don't understand how this would constitute a difference between in Shul and out of Shul. Dec 25, 2022 at 21:04


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