Rambam, Hilchot Tefilah 12:11 talks about the מתורגמן, a translator who would translate the Torah into Aramaic during the reading. He says that neither the reader nor the translator may be louder than the other one.

He writes this in the context of an actual translator, but i remember learning that this also applies to another מתורגמן, one who simply repeats what the lecturer says.

If this מתורגמן is only repeating what the lecturer says, then what's the point? He can't even say it louder than the original speaker!


1 Answer 1


Paragraph 1 of your question quotes Rambam Hilchot Tefilla 12:11. This refers to reading the Torah as is seen from the first halocho:

Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim - Chapter Thirteen Halacha 1 Moses, our teacher, ordained that the Jews should read the Torah publicly on the Sabbath and on Monday and Thursday mornings, so the [people] would never have three days pass without hearing the Torah.

In paragraphs 2 and 3 you extend the principle from the Torah reading to a lecturer. This article about the meturgaman under the section תפקידו של המטורגמן paragraph ב clearly states that this sort of meturgaman speaks louder than the Talmid Chochom (lecturer). Indeed it is bad for the dignity of the Talmid Chochom to make his speech too loud. The article quotes Rambam Hilchos Deos 5 (7) who lays down that

“A Torah Sage should not shout or shriek while speaking, like the cattle and wild beasts, nor should he raise his voice overly much.”

So, in short, the meturgaman for a lecturer is required to raise his voice louder than the lecturer.

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