A Public Service Announcement to the folks I davened with on Sunday:
To the fellow davening next to me:
It's bad enough that the shliach tzibur (prayer leader) for Shacharis is reciting the Chazaras HaShatz (the repitition of the amidah) so low that I can barely hear him. Please don't compound the problem by saying your "catch up" davening loudly next to me. I believe that, even though you are a member in the shul and I am only a guest, my right to hear the chazzan trumps your "right" to say Az Yashir in a loud voice. An even better idea would be to come on time next time so that you can say Az Yashir when the rest of the congregation is doing so. And you didn't make matters any better when you recited portions of your (silent) Amidah out loud.
To the parade of people marching to and from the sukkah at the start of Hallel:
Yes, it's a nice minhag (custom) to bentch lulav and esrog in the sukkah. I get it, I really do. But if doing so is going to result in your missing half of Hallel, then you're better off just bentching lulav by your seat. I highly doubt it's worth missing half of Hallel (I saw some of you coming back inside as we were up to "Ana HaShem..." just so that you can bentch lulav in the sukkah. If the minhag means that much to you, then next time bentch lulav at home in your sukkah before coming to shul, or else come early and do it in the shul's sukkah before davening, or else just do it at your seat right before Hallel.
To the conversationalists:
I understand... it's a Sunday, it's Chol HaMoed, there's no work for most of you and you have plans for a great day with your families. I get it, I really do. But there's no reason to be discussing them (or any of the other minutiae) that is discussed during davening. I was barely able to hear the Chazarras HaShatz for Mussaf because of all the talking in the shul. Yes, I suppose I am partially to blame because I sit all the way in the back -- I suppose if I moved closer I might be able to hear better -- but I really shouldn't have to. It's not as if the Shliach Tzibur for Mussaf was all that low -- he wasn't. Absent the talking, I could have heard him perfectly where I was. Once again, I'm willing to bet that even though I am only a guest and you are members, that my right to hear the chazzan trumps your "right" to discuss your plans for the day. Perhaps, in the future, you might consider the following:
I am normally strongly opposed to the practice that some people have of removing their tallis and tefillin before the very end of davening. Yet, I understand that sometimes people are in a rush because they have to get to work or because they have important plans that are time-sensitive. So I'm dan l'kaf z'chus (I give the benefit of the doubt). But I would much rather see you leave early and hold your discussions outside while the davening is still going on rather than have you discuss them in shul. It's REALLY hard for me to be dan l'kaf z'chus when I hear you discussing things that are (a) not related to the davening and (b) don't HAVE to be discussed right then and there and (c) are discussed loudly enough that I can hear you a few rows away and can no longer hear the shliach tzibbur. So, next time, how about leaving instead of talking? Both are wrong, but at least if you leave, I have grounds on which to give you the benefit of the doubt.