This Day In History 12 Tamuz/July 18

St. Lawrence Seaway
St. Lawrence Seaway

12 Tammuz

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

In 5687/1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, zt”l, was officially released from his sentence of exile to Kastroma in the interior of Russia. The actual release took place on 13 Tammuz, and 12–13 Tammuz is celebrated as a “festival of liberation” in Chabad. (This date was also the Rebbe’s birthday.)

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, the brother of the Vilna Gaon.

At two years of age he lost his father, and his mother married Harav Chaim Zev Yaffe, a descendant of Harav Mordechai Yaffe, the Levush. Reb Chaim Zev raised the boy as his own child.

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

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

In 5628/1868, Reb Chaim Zev was niftar, and Reb Eliyahu Baruch was named his successor as Rav.

In 5638/1878 Reb Eliyahu Baruch visited Brisk where he met with Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, who after talking with him in learning attested that Reb 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 Reb Eliyahu Baruch. He was Rav in Karlin for seven years.

Later Reb 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, the Aderes, who was Rav in the city.

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

Reb Eliyahu Baruch was niftar on 12 Tammuz 5677/1917, at the age of 77. 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 18

In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.

In 1925, Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his autobiographical screed, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Presidential Succession Act which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.