I just spoke with a cousin on the phone, and the connection wasn't
very good. I asked when she was born. "I was born on Slichas night,
the saddest day of the Jewish year." Her actual birth date was 4 sept
1921. Did I hear her wrong? What is slichas..
Sept. 4, 1921 was the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul.
More than likely what your cousin meant was Selichos which are supplications
recited during days of awe. It is customary for Ashkenaz to recite them
between midnight and dawn beginning the first Sunday (with exceptions)
before Rosh Hashanah until the day before Yom Kippur. But are recited at
other times as well. Sephardim start reciting them right after Rosh Chodesh
Elul. So your cousin's parents must have been Sephardic.
However, the saddest day of the year, would be Tisha B'Av which was
celebrated on the 10 Av, August 14 1921 as 9 Av was on a Shabbos.
This part of the story doesn't fit.
David Rubin and Mrs. Rubin