Thursday, 14 Kislev, 5782
  |  November 18, 2021

How To Combat Talking in Shul?

Part 1 of a series from Shtetlhood by Shimona Tzukernik: "At the risk of drumming up some enmity, I want to talk about…talking…in shul." Full Story

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Esther Althaus
November 2, 2016 2:07 am

Shimona, well said. My thoughts exactly. I wrote a blog about this in the lead up to Rosh Hashanah…..


Completing on board with your thoughts on this matter
November 1, 2016 7:42 pm

When in a public space – a space dedicated to a particular purpose – in this instance, a shul – it is important for individuals (those that chatter) where they are and when they are. They are not home; they are not in a restaurant; they are not in a park. Chattering away when people are talking to and honoring G-d is entirely disrespectful and that behavior is unacceptable. There is nothing wrong with having to remind these chatterers where they are and what is understood in terms of the meaning of where they are.

to learn a line or two before leaving for shul
October 29, 2016 10:23 pm

It just seems when I learn a line or two from the parsha, before I leave for shul, the action sets the stage for me, to be present when I get there.

The real solution
October 28, 2016 7:53 am

I read Shimona Tzuckernik’s passage and your readers’ comments with especial interest because by Divine Providence this week my book Sea Traveler ,which deals with this very subject,goes on sale,published by Kehos, for the first time.Please read it if you want an authentic Chabad perspective on the whole subject of distraction and concentration during davvening. In a nutshell it’s not enough to know the laws of Tefilla nor to devise methods to motivate people to hold back from talking in shul. We need methods to enable us not to want to talk during davvening. The only way, which is the… Read more »

CH Homeowner
October 28, 2016 7:44 am

Beautifully written! I’m with Shimona on this 1000%.

October 28, 2016 6:54 am

In my shul it is the opposite. The men are talking and shmoozing and creating the disturbance. This is from the most “important” to the least “important” person. The women are quiet and respectful. I am about to change shuls for this reason. Very sad state of affairs.

Shimona, well said!!
October 28, 2016 12:41 am

Agreed!! the alter rebbe’s words should be enlarged and posted in every shul….

I am sure it will give pause to most of the ‘talkers’.

Come to chabad of the five towns…..NO TALKING!!

I'm with Shimona and #17
October 28, 2016 12:27 am

I always talk in shul – but ONLY to Hashem. And all the women who daven in my shul (ok, just 99.9% of them) do NOT talk in shul. We have the great zechus of answering Baruch Hu u’varuch Shemo and Amein during Chazoras Hashatz, and Amein yehei shemei raba in kaddish which tears up all harsh decrees. We have the zechus of answering Amein to the brachos before and after each aleyah, and we can actually hear every word of kreiah and haftorah. We have the zechus of ahavas Yisroel by allowing each other to daven without disturbance. Davenning… Read more »

And what about....
October 27, 2016 9:58 pm

What about when someone has to say kaddish? It’s so disrespectful to the person trying to say this for his loved one.I just don’t understand why people can’t just be quiet. There’s plenty of time to socialize during the kiddush.

First of all:
October 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Great author! You remind me of your son 🙂 (I’ve heard him give a talk)
Secondly: great points, I totally agree.

P.S. A shout out to (at least the men) in 770 for not talking during kriah! A huge kiddush shaym Lubavitch (even if you spend the rest of the time talking) and shows, especially the kids, true respect for the Torah.

to #17
October 27, 2016 8:42 pm

Honestly for me and most at least semi normal people, it’s all in how you ask. I used to daven in a Chabad shul where it was common for certain members to yell at and publicly humiliate women who were talking. Also let’s get real here -some chastise others for talking but then they themselves talk when they feel like it. lastly we just have to know thqt we live in a generation that is consumed by ego and so mamesh can’t handle even the most gentle criticism.

October 27, 2016 7:26 pm

I recently started going to my class shul. It opened up this year. we are all happy to see each other especially since there is not so many chances to socialize as a newly married guy BUT THE TALKING IS HORRIBLE! and When I tell my friends to be quiet. I AM CONSIDERED THE NERD FRUMMY. WHY WHY WHY? I want to have bracha and parnassa in MY life and YOU should to. Why cant we just shut our mouth.

Yesterday's Tanya
October 27, 2016 6:59 pm

Anyone who has a problem with what Shimona wrote should review the shiur Tanya for Simchas Torah and yesterday. Compared to the Alter Rebbe’s harsh words for those who talk during davening, Shimona’s words are lax and easygoing.

To #12
October 27, 2016 6:23 pm

I totally hear you. I don’t mean to generalize but in my personal experience that was not the case. Some of the shluchas I’ve encountered, who are well into the grandchild phase of life talk throughout shul and not to congregants but members of their families. Like I’ve stated before after 20 years of traveling there is definitely a noticeable difference in the caliber of chabad leadership. Not trying to knock it down but it does make me sad that my kids are not lucky enough to grow up with strong role models as I did. The talking in shul… Read more »

The answer to the above question is no.
October 27, 2016 5:33 pm

One should NOT read pamphlets, Torah literature or not even review Chitas. One must listen closely to each word of Chazoras Hashatz, answer ברוך הוא וברוך שמו and אמן and אמן יהי שמה רבא as well as listening to each word of Layning and Haftora…The author of this article is not making up anything on her own. This is indeed one of the few lessons we can learn from the Sefardim who are very careful not to speak during Daavening, Layning etc. and in other circles as well. Being Chabad, means being EXTRA careful with Mitzvos, not lacking in them..… Read more »

What my husband did
October 27, 2016 5:22 pm

My husband said that some people were talking in shul and he said to them that their conversation sounded so interesting that it was keeping him from davening and maybe they could speak later so he could daven and hear v their interesting conversation later. Another time, he asked some people who were talking during davening if they wanted to hear a dirty joke. They told him “What! You want to say a dirty joke and in a shul.” He told them “And you could talk during davening in a shul?” I was in a shul (not Chabad) on simchas… Read more »

Well Said!
October 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Take a look at Tanya #4:24, Shulchan Oruch #124 with the Mishnah Berurah and Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Oruch 124.
I don’t have the heart to quote what they say here….

rabbi must lead
October 27, 2016 3:12 pm

Is it true that rabbis can read pamphlets or torah literature during davening?

Our Children are the future
October 27, 2016 3:03 pm

Our children need to be taught what Tephilla means. In our Chabad House we are told the Rebbe never wanted services for the children, so instead they run riot. The place is like a zoo.

to number 10
October 27, 2016 2:58 pm

Yes I’m a shlucha – I come to shul towards the end. I send my older kids with my husband aka Rabbi. I come towards the end because my kids can’t sit through the whole davening. I sometimes don’t come at all since I’m recovering or have a baby that can’t walk the distance and now my place is at home to raise my small children bh. Different shluchos are at different stages. Iyh when my kids grow up I look forward to being in shul with my children davening together. Reason why lots of young shluchos sit in the… Read more »

Talking in shul
October 27, 2016 2:31 pm

Talk in shul all you want- talk to G-d!!

Confused BT
October 27, 2016 2:16 pm

Before finding chabad I grew up reform, conservative and MO who ALL had major kavod in shul and there was no talking. Then I was lucky enough to live in a Lubavitch community with plenty of smart, chasidishe, female role models who always were in shul on time, sitting way up in the front. These were mothers with dozens of kids in between them. Of course the kids would talk and play in the shul and their mothers gently reminded them to lower their voices. One of our Shul’s Rabbi’s explained that a child should be comfortable in a shul,… Read more »

Correction about Kriah
October 27, 2016 2:06 pm

I learned that men can not daven during Krias haTorah but ladies can.

Talking in Shul.
October 27, 2016 1:18 pm

My family davens in the kollel and there is no talking there. It simply is not tolerated. It can be done! Just shut your mouth!!

Talking is very good, just somewhere else!
October 27, 2016 1:13 pm

People need to talk and socialize and connect. In CH there aren’t many opportunities for this.

….it just needs to be at a time OTHER than in shul during davening.

It just needs to be somewhere else!

Elliot ganz
October 27, 2016 12:57 pm

A Modest Proposal to End Talking During Tefillah by JA Mag | February 11, 2013 in Opinion 0 Share27 By Elliot Ganz jasilencenomouth85.jpgIn many Orthodox shuls today, talking during davening and layning, particularly on Shabbat, has become the norm. It is, in fact, a problem of epidemic proportions. Talking typically begins during Shacharit, gets worse during layning and haftorah, and rises to a crescendo during Mussaf. One of my friends recently quipped that in his shul, the baal tefillah for Mussaf could walk out during chazorat hashatz and no one would notice. Not funny. What is most surprising about talking… Read more »

Kol Hakovod!
October 27, 2016 12:53 pm

It is difficult to be a Nachshon in this day and age. I recently met a Chabad Rabbi who has instigated davenning aloud together (like Sephardim do) so everyone feels a part of something special and spurs each other on. The beneficial ‘side-effect’ is no talking! He said his congregation loves it.

This Ship has Sailed
October 27, 2016 12:29 pm

You’re talking on the women’s side where there is no chiyuv for davening. In most shuls, women simply don’t show up. To actually come to shul is a chidush and then they will quite often simply remain outside talking. On the men’s side it isn’t much better, you can barely have a minyan at 10. Then the talkers come in around Baruch Hu and yak until kriah. From there they have the Kiddush club where they hang out in an adjoining room and have some cholent and L’Chaim. They pile in buzzed by Musaf and you get a crescendo of… Read more »

October 27, 2016 12:05 pm

So happy you are bringing this up!

Well said
October 27, 2016 11:49 am

I like this well written some people are just not nice thats life

October 27, 2016 11:36 am

It’s hard to believe the story from 770 shul..but there are many people in this world, and not all of them think like you do. I feel that most people don’t like being reprimanded by anyone (much less by someone THEY don’t think is tznius enough!) That said, disturbing the davening of others is not acceptable either. The solution would be in my humble opinion, that you or anyone of us, should say respectfully “could you please lower your voices just a little, I can’t concentrate on my davening when I can hear your INTERESTING conversation”. DONE you did not… Read more »

Reply to  WOW
January 1, 2020 4:37 am

In my opinion Every Shul should carry a weapon and smack the people who talk in Shul during Davening… One of the serious flaws in our society today is the lack of proper decorum in shul, especially on Shabbos and Yom Tov. While socializing in shul is not a new problem[1] and certainly most, if not all people who go to shul are aware of the prohibition against talking during davening, still a great deal of talking goes on anyway, either from force of habit or out of disregard for the halachah. Today, when the power of prayer is needed… Read more »