From the COLlive inbox by Sruli Schochet:
Until about 5748, the Rebbe was hardly seen in public in Tefillin. The exception to that rule was on Purim (certainly in the early years), when the Rebbe would daven with the minyan and listen to Megillah in Tallis and Tefillin.
When I was a boy, my father, Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet OBM, told me how in the year 5713 he came across a ‘spy camera’ for sale. It was a very small camera for those years- we are talking 1953- for the purposes of secretly taking pictures.
He purchased one and took some pictures of the Rebbe on Purim that year in Tefillin. He said that back then no one had the chutzpah to stand by davening with a camera and snap pictures so he needed to do it incognito. He positioned himself in a good spot and subtly snapped some photos when no one was looking.
While in Toronto last week for my father’s second yahrtzeit, I came across the pictures and the negatives tucked away in a box in his office.
While many of the pictures did not come out, here are three pictures, two of the Rebbe davening and one during the reading of the megillah. I snapped these pictures on my camera phone and left the originals where they were.
I inquired around and it appears that there are not very many, if at all, pictures of the Rebbe in those early years such as these. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to share with the public.