This Day in History – 1 Tammuz/June 18

According to Rabi Shimon in Bava Metzia 106b, today is the onset of the summer season.

In 5151/1391, many Jews were killed by a riotous mob in Seville, Spain. The riots spread throughout Spain.


 

Yahrtzeiten

5649/1889, Harav Chaim Elazar Waks, zt”l, Rav of Kalisch and mechaber of Nefesh Chayah.

5665/1905, Harav Shlomo Halberstam, zt”l, the first Bobover Rebbe.


 

5583/1823, Harav Kalonymus Kalman Epstein, zt”l, the Maor Vashemesh

Harav Kalonymus Kalman was born c. 5511/1751; his father was Harav Aharon of Neustadt. In 5516/1756 the family moved to Cracow, where his father took up work in the baking trade. The young Kalonymus Kalman helped by peddling bagels.

Reb Mordechai Gutgold, a Cracow gevir, noticed the boy and undertook to support him so that he could learn and develop his talents. The youngster took this task so seriously that at 13 years of age he was chosen by his benefactor as a son-in-law.

Reb Kalonymus was introduced to Chassidus in the beis medrash of the Megaleh Amukos by the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk. Reb Kalonymus became an ardent follower of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech and spent much time in Lizhensk.

In 5545/1785 Reb Elimelech instructed Reb Kalonymus Kalman to establish a court of his own. It was the first chassidic court in Cracow and the beginning of the major chassidic center that city was to become.

The Maor Vashemesh used to say so many divrei Torah between courses at his tisch that the food grew cold. He later revealed to his son Reb Aharon that he had been told from Heaven that this practice was being held against him, for it was a show of disrespect to Shabbos food.

Reb Kalonymus Kalman was niftar on 1 Tammuz 5583/1823. He left two sons, Harav Yosef (“Der Gutter Yid”) of Neustadt and Harav Aharon of Cracow, and two daughters.

His sefer, Maor Vashemesh, is unique in several ways. First, it is the only work from the early period of Chassidus to include so many divrei Torah by, and stories of, other tzaddikim of the author’s own generation. For this we are indebted to Reb Kalonymus’s intense humility, which led him to travel to so many of the tzaddikim of his day.

Reb Shlomo of Bobov (whose yahrtzeit is today, too) rightly described it as a “Shulchan Aruch of Chassidus,” and he would study it regularly.

In 5665/1905, Reb Shlomo of Bobov had a dream that he was in Cracow standing outside the beis medrash where the Maor Vashemesh was davening. The shul was so crowded that Reb Shlomo had to enter through a window. Inside, he waited until just before the Torah reading, and then he approached the Maor Vashemesh and asked for an aliyah, which he received. That was the entire dream.

That same year on 1 Tammuz, the day of the yahrtzeit of the  Maor Vashemesh Reb Shlomo was niftar.

Zechusam yagen aleinu.


 

June 18

In 1778, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.

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 his 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 1945, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower received a tumultuous welcome in Washington D.C., where he addressed a joint session of Congress.

In 1964, President Lyndon 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 Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.