BOSTON, MA — A new record has been set for the loudest sound recorded in human history. The title was once held by the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, which was heard 3,000 miles away – but on Saturday, Arlene Rosenberg, 77 year old member of Congregation Or Yisrael, attempted to whisper during the Silent Amidah.
As congregants were quietly finishing up their Musaf prayers, Rosenberg turned to her daughter Beth Neuman and, intending to discreetly spread some new gossip, whispered “DID YOU HEAR THE SCHNEIDER BOY IS DATING A SHIKSA?”
Congregants looked up from their prayer books. Children playing on the playground outside stopped and turned. At the yoga studio down the street, women gasped. At the park across the neighborhood, dogs lifted their ears.
Neuman quickly responded, “Mom! Lower your voice, we’re in shul!” But Mrs. Rosenberg was already unwrapping a crinkly butterscotch candy from her pocketbook.
Two and a half minutes later, as Rabbi Mark Schuler stood up, about to speak, Mrs. Rosenberg said under her breath, “I SAW THEM AT THE SUPERMARKET THE OTHER DAY. SHE HAS A TATTOO AND HER LIP IS PIERCED.”
At this, a chandelier fell in the social hall and one of the stained glass windows cracked. Thankfully there were almost no casualties.
According to others present, the rest of the service passed in relative quiet, as they all tried to restore their hearing, only to succeed just in time for the Rabbi’s son’s tone-deaf Aleinu. It lasted until Adon Olam, when Rosenberg, using all her effort not to let her voice rise above a soft purr, said “AT LEAST IT’S BETTER THAN HIS BROTHER. BONNIE TOLD ME HE’S LIVING WITH A MAN.”
A bus crashed outside, and at Fenway Park, fans could not hear the sound of the fireworks following a home run.
Eli Schneider, who was sitting a few rows back, reportedly said “Oh, was she talking about me? I didn’t hear that.” He has since left town.