This Day in History – 15 Sivan/June 18

15 Sivan

This day is a Yom Tov as cited in Megillas Taanis because on this date the residents of Beis Shaan and Bikasa, who aided the enemies of Klal Yisrael, the Yevanim, were exiled from their homes by the Chashmona’im.

In 4859/1099, the Crusaders laid siege to Yerushalayim. As they conquered the city, the Crusaders massacred almost the entire population of Yerushalayim, including its Jews. The reign of the Christians lasted until 4947/1187. When it ended, it prompted additional Crusades.

In 5687/1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Harav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, zt”l, was arrested by agents of the Soviet secret police for spreading Torah throughout the Soviet Empire. The Rebbe was held and tortured in prison and then sent to Kastroma, a prison camp, until his release on 12 Tammuz.

In 5742/1982, Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon to destroy PLO bases. Named “Operation Peace for Galilee,” the mission’s aim was to drive out the terrorists. In 5743/1983, Lebanon’s president, Amin Gemayel, signed a peace treaty with Israel.

A year later, Syria forced Gemayel to renege on the agreement. The war continued as the IDF captured Beirut and surrounded Yasser Arafat and his co-terrorists. The war ended in 5745/1985 when Israel was forced to withdraw. A total of 1,216 Jewish lives were lost, Hy”d.


2314, Yehudah ben Yaakov Avinu. His birthday is on this date as well. He was born in 2195.

5539/1779, Harav Shmuel Sofer of Frankfurt, zt”l, the father of the Chasam Sofer

5704/1944, Harav Dovid Dov Meisels of Uhel, the Binyan Dovid, Hy”d


Harav Yitzchak of Posen, Zt”l, Mechaber of She’eilos u’Teshuvos Be’er Yitzchak

Harav Yitzchak of Posen was the son of Harav Avraham and the son-in-law of the Rosh Yosef.

He was the talmid of Harav Yonah Teumim, zt”l, the Kikayon d’Yonah.

Initially, Rav Yitzchak served as Rav in Loitsk. He then moved to Vilna, replacing Harav Moshe, zt”l, the Chelkas Mechokek, as Rav. Later he was appointed Rav in Posen.

In Posen, Rav Yitzchak founded his yeshivah and answered the many she’eilos he was sent, which were published as She’eilos u’Teshuvos Be’er Yitzchak. He was viewed as the Posek Hador. Despite being held in such high esteem by Gedolei Hador, Rav Yitzchak conducted himself with great humility.

His yeshivah attracted hundreds of bachurim. The most famous was Harav Avraham Abali, zt”l, the Magen Avraham, who quotes Rav Yitzchak numerous times in his work on Shulchan Aruch.

Rav Yitzchak served as the head of the Vaad Arba Aratzos. In 5443/1683 he agreed to the printing of Maginei Zahav, which answered the questions of the Nekudos Hakesef on the Turei Zahav.

Rav Yitzchak was niftar on 15 Sivan 5449/1689. His son was Rav Yaakov of Posen, zt”l, a known talmid chacham and a parnas. Rav Yitzchak’s son-in-law was Rav Fishel of Ladmor.

Zecher tzaddik livrachah.

June 18

In 1812, the War of 1812 began as the United States Congress approved, and President James Madison signed, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, “This was their finest hour.”

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda spoke to each other by telephone as they inaugurated the first trans-Pacific cable completed by AT&T between Japan and Hawaii.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Georgia v. McCollum, ruled that criminal defendants could not use race as a basis for excluding potential jurors from their trials.