Orthodox Shul Decorum

Here is the real reason why it is generally much noisier in an Orthodox shul than in others.

When you go to a stranger's house for the first time, you are generally respectful and quit. You sit properly, you don't speak till spoken to, you focus on the host rather than other company you're there with. On the other hand, when you go over to your best friend's house, you raid the refrigerator, you shmooze with other friends that hang out there, you put your feet up. In short, you are comfortable and not in awe. This applies even if your friend is a powerful person in the community.

Something similar happens in synagogues. If you don't go to shul that often, as with Jews who only go on Shabbat, you are proper and polite. When you're there several times a week, as do many of the Orthodox, this must be your friend and you kick back, relax with friends, talk with them, etc. thus the difference in decorum.

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