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And what avails it that science has come to treat space and time as simply forms of thought, and the material world as hypothetical, and withal our pretension of property and even of self-hood are fading with the rest, if, at last, even our thoughts are not finalities, but the incessant flowing and ascension reach these also, and each thought which yesterday was a finality, to-day is yielding to a larger generalization?

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Enunciating Words During T’phila and Other B'rakhoth PDF Print E-mail
Written by harav   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:38
Enunciating Words During T’phila and Other B'rakhoth

Yom 5, 27-11-65 —27 Sh'vatt 5773 — 07-02-2013


Shalom, Rav
When davening, how much should I pronounce the words? Is it enough to, as the Rambam suggests, say them in my mind? Should I, like the Shulchan Aruch says, form them with my lips? Or do I need to at a minimum whisper them so I can hear?



1. I assume that your question relates, in the first place, to T’phila, i.e. Sh’mone ‘Esre. Rambam does not suggest that one should recite the T’phila silently, i.e. in one’s head. In Hilkhoth T’phila 5:10 Rambam states the opposite , namely that while one should not daven aloud, one must enunciate the words with one’s lips and whisper to oneself. Rambam goes on to say that if one is ill, or unable to concentrate without reciting the T’phila out loud, one may do so in private but not in a minyan so as not to disturb others. This is also the view of the Shulhan ‘Arukh Orah Hayim 101:2 who quotes Rambam nearly word for word.

2. The source for all this is in the Talmud Y’rushalmi B’rakhoth 4:1 and Talmud Bavli B’rakhoth 31a.

3. The difference between T'phila and other B'rakhoth is that during T'phila one should whisper, whereas other B'rakhoth should be said aloud. See Rambam's MT Hilkhoth B'rakhoth 1:7.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:39