This Day in History – 12 Tammuz/July 15

12 Tammuz

In 3333, Yechezkel Hanavi was instructed by Hashem to lie on his left side for 390 days, in order to atone for the sins of Klal Yisrael. From the 18th of Tammuz the following year, he lay on his right side for 40 days; altogether he remained lying down for 430 days.

In 5058/1298, the Jews of Weiner-Neustadt, Austria, were massacred al kiddush Hashem. Hy”d.

In 5059/1299, Jews denounced to the Inquisition were granted the right to face their accusers.

In 5701/1941, the Nazis executed 5,000 Jews in the fortress of Kovno. Hy”d.

In 5708/1948, 150 Jews were killed in Kahir, Iran, during the riots of 1948, Hy”d. This was followed by practically all the Jews of the Arab countries being driven out.


5108/1348, Rabbeinu Yaakov Ben Asher Ashkenazi, zt”l, the Baal Haturim


Harav Elya Baruch Kamai, Zt”l, Rav of Mir, Poland

Harav Eliyahu Baruch Kamai was born in 5600/1840. His father, Harav Avraham, was a grandson of Harav Avraham, zt”l, the brother of the Vilna Gaon, zt”l.

At 2 years of age he lost his father, and his mother married Harav Chaim Zev Yaffe, a descendant of Harav Mordechai Yaffe, the Levush, zt”l. Rav Chaim Zev raised the boy as his own child.

When Rav Eliyahu Baruch was 10 years old, his step-grandfather, Rav in Shkod, was niftar. Rav Chaim Zev was named Rav in his stead, and the family moved to Shkod.

At the age of 17, Rav Eliyahu Baruch married and settled in Shkod.

In 5628/1867, Rav Chaim Zev was niftar, and Rav Eliyahu Baruch was named his successor as Rav.

In 5638/1878 Rav Eliyahu Baruch visited Brisk where he met with Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l, the Beis Halevi, who after talking with him in learning attested that Rav Eliyahu Baruch was one of the Torah giants of the generation.

At that time the kehillah of Karlin asked Rav Yosef Dov to suggest a suitable Rav for them, and he suggested Rav Eliyahu Baruch. He was Rav in Karlin for seven years.

Later Rav Eliyahu Baruch served as Rav in Weckshna for three years, and then in Tchnovtzi until 5659/1899, when he was appointed Ram in Mir alongside Harav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz Teumim, zt”l, the Aderes, who was Rav in the city.

In 5661/1901, the Aderes moved to Eretz Yisrael and Rav Eliyahu Baruch then became Rav of Mir, where he stayed for the rest of his life.

Rav Eliyahu Baruch was niftar on 12 Tammuz 5677/1917. He was then in Minsk, where he had gone for the summer, and he was buried in Minsk. Many thousands participated in the levayah, among them the Gedolei hador.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

July 15

In 1799, French soldiers in Egypt discovered the Rosetta Stone, which proved instrumental in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was abolished more than 3 1/2 centuries after its creation.

In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. Manitoba entered the confederation as the fifth Canadian province.

In 1910, the term “Alzheimer’s disease” was used to describe a progressive form of presenile dementia in the book Clinical Psychiatry by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, who credited the work of his colleague, Alois Alzheimer, in identifying the condition.

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