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What are the origins of the Ashkenazi practice of mumbly-speed-through davening? I refer both to:

  1. Shemoneh Esrei where the words are not articulated with the mouth (albeit silently) but rather the blessings are skimmed with the eye and the lips make mumbly motions unrelated to the specific wording of the brachot, and

  2. The rest of the service where only occasional words and phrases of the tefillah are announced and the remainder is speed-mumbled in an undertone.

I can understand the need to keep a low profile in historically antisemitic Europe and thus minimizing out-loud praying, but I am baffled by the apparent conflict of (1) with the intention of formally standing and speaking before Hashem when silently davening Shemoneh Esrei. If standing formally before a human king and speed-mumbling blessings sounds disrespectful, then how is it not disrespectful to speed-mumble blessings in the Shemoneh Esrei mindset of formally standing before Hashem?

What are the specific halachic reasons that led to this speed-mumbling practice? To me, it effectively reduces davening Shemoneh Esrei (and other mumbled tefillah) to just thinking it as you read through it with your eyes, so then how does that qualify as prayer? I'd like answers beyond "it minimally qualifies because your lips are moving". I'm hoping to get more clarity so that I can appreciate the deeper halachic rationale behind this practice, because with my current thinking I cannot in good conscience allow myself to speed-mumble Shemoneh Esrei and am therefore always significantly and frustratingly slower than the congregation when davening it.

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    Is it right to describe a mistake or incorrect behavior as a "practice"? The term "Ashkenazi practice" makes it sound like some kind of institutionalized custom or halachic position, which it isn't. Furthermore, I don't think this phenomenon is specific to Ashkenazim or only prevalent within Ashkenazi communities.
    – Fred
    Nov 29, 2023 at 20:48
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    You should probably find yourself another shul. (I don’t mean to be flippant, and I realise that that isn’t always possible.) Alternatively, there is certainly room to argue for starting the amidah before the congregation does in circumstances like this.
    – Joel K
    Nov 29, 2023 at 20:55
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    To add to my previous comment, you are probably observing two different phenomena without discerning between the two: 1) The phenomenon you described, where some individuals mumble through the prayers and either skip or don't properly enunciate many words. 2) A more common phenomenon, where people are actually reading the words, but only recite some of the words loud enough for others to hear.
    – Fred
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:00
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    This reads more like a rant than an actual question.
    – shmosel
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:48
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