The dates of 12-13 Tammuz rose to prominence in 5687 (1927), the year that the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn) was arrested by the Communist authorities for actively promoting Yiddishkeit, imprisoned, and sent to exile. Finally, on 12-13 Tammuz, the Previous Rebbe was released, referring to it as not only a personal redemption for himself, but a redemption for every Jew, from the “lovers of Torah” who perform the mitzvos, to those who merely carry the name “Israel” as a nickname.
Even more than this, the Rebbe explains (in the Dvar Malchus of parshas Korach) that the radical shift that took place in 1990-91 in the Soviet Union (the Communist regime dismantling itself) was a direct continuation of the redemption of 12-13 Tammuz! (The delay of more than 60 years, explains the Rebbe, was due to the time it took for the opposing forces to come to appreciate, on their own terms, the need for such action.)
An additional point, that gives insight into many things that pertain to the Rebbe, is found in the maamer (Chassidic discourse) which the Rebbe edited for publication in honor of 12-13 Tammuz 5751. In that maamer, the Rebbe explains that the Previous Rebbe possessed the level of Moshe Rabbeinu who was “rich” (as discussed in the related maamer “Tefillah LeMoshe“) with “da’as Elyon” (supernal knowledge) meaning that even during his imprisonment he did not experience any concealment of G-dliness. If so, asks the Rebbe, what sort of redemption occurred? Redemption is from darkness to light, and the like, but if the Previous Rebbe was never in darkness then why do we celebrate his redemption? The answer is that as a Nosi, a leader who is deeply connected with his people, the fact that the Previous Rebbe’s imprisonment caused them to undergo a state of concealment affected the Previous Rebbe himself, and thus his redemption is a true redemption–both for him and his people.
We will close with the following directive of the Rebbe for how to make proper use of the luminous days of 12-13 Tammuz:
…in connection with Yud-Beis Tammuz, efforts should be made to organize farbrengens in each and every place where Jews will gather together to inspire each other in the service of spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward. This will generate the potential for the transformation of the Three Weeks into a positive period, with the coming of the ultimate Redemption. Even before that redemption comes, we will merit a succession of Divine miracles. When one Jew will ask another, “What was the last miracle that happened,” he will be unable to answer because the miracles are taking place in such rapid succession. And these miracles will lead to the ultimate miracles, those which accompany the redemption from exile, when “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”