I can't find this ruling in the Shulchan Aruch, but isn't there a common understanding that an individual shouldn't pray/sing at the very top of their voice in shul (which annoys other congregants and even overpowers the Chazzan)? Can anyone give me an actual Talmudic citation or ruling?

  • Thank you for asking this question as such a case arose at my former synagogue but no one ever thought of it as an issue of halakha. We had a person who had a good voice but really needed voice lessons to make it better. He often lead the congregation in prayer. However, even when he didn't he would often sing so loudly that his voice overpowered the Chazan. We all understood it was mostly ego (even though he had a very legitimite personal reason for wanting to be the unofficial Chazaan at all times) and were often upset at his loudness. – JJLL Aug 24 '14 at 16:37
  • On Shabbos it's a problem because of breaking windows :) – user613 Aug 25 '14 at 13:32

In the laws of Rosh Hashana The Mechaber mentions that even though a whole year one should not daven with a raised voice on Rosh Hashana it is permitted since people are davening from a Machzor and the noise wont disturb them. The source is PisKei Tosfos in Rosh HaShana. Not the Gemorah itself.

That being said the Mishna Brura says that still one should not over do it (yoser m'dai) i.e. daven so loud that it becomes a distraction to others.

If in your Shul people daven in a siddur and not by heart, than it would be permissible to daven loud BUT not so loud that you would disturb other peoples concentration.

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  • +1 I found a bit more and with a slightly different emphasis; please excuse my answer having some similarities to yours, – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 24 '14 at 20:26
  • That halacha is specifically about the quite shmonah esrei which is the apex of prayer and therefore has special rules, one of them being not to mix others up and ruin their concentration. If this question is about someone saying his quite shmonah esrei out loud than this is a good answer but somehow I doubt that is the case. – user6591 Aug 25 '14 at 1:17
  • @AvrohomYitzchok "Yagdil Torah VeYadir" ! – eramm Aug 25 '14 at 8:47

This a touchy issue.

First there is this publication by Tzeirei Chasidea Viznitz that speaks strongly against those who want to stop the practice of saying Pesukei Dezimro loud and writes that with the exception of the Amidah, davenning is to be loud and so it sweetens judgement:

וחז"ל העידו בר"ה (דף ט"ז) דצעקה הוא אחד מדברים המבטלין רוע הגזירה, והפייט בפיוט "ותשובה ותפלה וצדקה" הציג צום "קול" ממון, הרי כי תפלה הוא בקול, חוץ מתפלת ח"י ברכות, ועיין' בזוה"ק (פ' שמות דף כ ריש ע"א) גודל שבח הזעקה והצעקה שממתיקין כל הדינים והגזירות

Then O Ch 101(3) speaks about raising the voice in davenning on Rosh Hashono in the Amidah. The MB [12] on the words of the Rema, “he should not raise his voice too loudly” says:

“because that (raising the voice) comes from the prophets of Baal or because he will surely confuse his neighbour. At all events it seems that those chazzanim who raise their voices to encourage concentration and so that people can clearly hear the words do well. But those who raise their voices to show off their voices do not act properly.”

The various views may perhaps be reconciled to say that raising the voice in prayer to aid concentration is good but it must not disturb others and must not be to show off the voice.

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  • I was wondering why in many shtieblach, I have heard the entire P'sukei D'Zimrah said loudly. This sefer explains it. One problem - in many of these shteiblach, the loud davening of everyone drowned out the voice of the chazan to the point that you didn't even know that there WAS a chazan! Is that correct? – DanF Aug 25 '14 at 15:24

the gemara in brochos says one should not daven so loudly so as not to confuse people that you are the shaliach tzibbur.

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  • 3
    What daf is this on? – Double AA Aug 25 '14 at 19:15
  • deleted post- the gemara 45a says by aniyas amen and meturgeman that its assur to be loud, amen because of Gadlu Le'hashem Iti, and meturgeman so people wont think the tirgum is in the torah – Shoel U'Meishiv Aug 26 '14 at 15:38

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