Slichas Night? #general


Steve Orlen
 

Dear Cousins,

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 (besides that it means
"forgive me" or "excuse me.")

Best, Steve Orlen Tucson Arizona


Marc DVer <mdver@...>
 

Slichos are additional prayers added in the days before Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur. Those >from European decent they start either the
Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah or the Saturday night before that,
if Rosh Hashanah is before Wednesday. Those >from Sephardic backgrounds
start the first day of Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanah.

I took a quick look her Hebrew birthday, which is the first of Elul,
5681. That would seem to indicate that your cousin is of Sephardic decent.

As for it being the saddest day of the year, I would take issue with
that, but that may have just been her opinion.

(The word Slichos is probably related to the word Slicha. Slichos are
prayers in which we ask for forgiveness.)

Marc DVer

Steve Orlen wrote:
I asked when she was born. "I was born on Slichas night, the
saddest day of the Jewish year.


David Rubin
 

sorlen@... writes:
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.

Sincerely,
David Rubin and Mrs. Rubin