Sadly, talking during davening in shul is a major problem.

Lets say a shul has a few people who constantly talk loudly throughout davening and they disturb the other people and the rabbi. The rabbi, board, members and others in the shul asked them nicely many times to be quiet, but they still disturb everyone.

Everyone is extra annoyed with these members. They approach the rabbi and request him to expel these members from the shul. The rabbi says, "I know how much they disturb the davening, and it is difficult to concentrate and hear the davening and Torah reading with their loud talking. I would love to expel them from the shul, but, if we do that, the shul will lose a tremendous amount of money from them, to the point where we may have to close the shul in 3 months. And, you know that we can't exactly find other members to replace their funding, either or get the funds from the remaining members."

Halachically, does the needs of keeping the shul in existence take precedence and MUST they deal with these people disturbing everyone else's kavanah, or should they expel these talkers anyway because the sanctity of the shul and the need to daven with kavanah is more important?

Additional premises based on comments:

There are other shuls in the neighborhood. However, the majority of this shul's membership is comprised of elderly people who have limited walking range, and this shul is about the limit. If the shul closes, they will most likely not attend any shul at all, as the next closest shul is too far for them.

As I understand, there is a general rule to do everything possible to maintain a shul building in existence. The town has strict rules stating that a religious building must be sold only to another religious institution and cannot be sold for residential or commercial purposes. No other shul wants to buy the building, so if the shul closes, it will be sold, most likely, to a church or mosque. I understand that there may be a halacha to try to prevent this, but I may be wrong.

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    @GershonGold Thanks. This almost happened to a shul in my neighborhood. The rabbi expelled the schmoozers (there were other reasons too, and I think it was more their incentive to leave than the rabbi's expulsion.) The schmoozers formed another "rich people, mainly" / shmoozer's minyan in another shul, and the original shul is much quieter and everyone's happy. The original shul is far poorer, but, B"H, still running, and looks like they will be for a while, though, minimally. The schmoozers shul is bursting at its seams. Looks like people like to schmooze! I have much admiration for the Rav!
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 20:48
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    I think there are two questions here. (Not that this needs to be split into two Mi Yodeya question posts: just that there are two issues to be addressed in the answers.) One, should talkers be expelled? If so, then, two, does the synagogue's solvency override that?
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:13
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    Related (about talking, not expulsion): judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16269/472 Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:57
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    I suspect there is not a one-size-fits-all answer for this. It could be a different answer in a small city with only one Orthodox shul vs. in New York where the impact on Jewish life if one shul closes is much smaller.
    – Mike
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 22:47
  • @msh210 You may be overanalyzing this a bit. Assume that the decision has been made to expel them. Now, the question is, does keeping the shul in existence prevent them from doing that.
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


Aruch Hashulchan Orach Chaim 90:15 says that it is better to Daven in a small Minyan where there is no talking over a large Minyan (Losing out on B'rov Am) where there is talking. Granted that he does not say here that the Minyan should be closed down, however he does clearly say that the non talking small Shul is superior.

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    I think this would be better as a comment, unless you can expand and more clearly relate it to possibly closing the shul.
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:02

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