By COLlive reporter
A uncommon photo of the Rebbe taken by Levi Freidin was released by Jewish Educational Media (JEM) in honor of the yartzeit of the photographer and videographer on Thursday.
In the black and white photo, the Rebbe is seen seated at the farbrengen table in the main shul of 770 Eastern Parkway, looking directly at the camera and smiling widely.
Standing near the Rebbe are Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai Mentlick OBM, Mazkirim Rabbi Leibel Groner and Rabbi Binyomin Klein and Mashbak Rabbi Mayer Harlig.
JEM, which holds Freidin’s works, said the photo was one of the first he took on his first visit to 770 from Israel. Over the years, especially in the early 1980s, Freidin enjoyed up-close access to the Rebbe.
When Freidin would film the Rebbe walking out of his home on President Street, he would be offered a ride. “Rebbe, if I ride with you, 770 will turn over,” Freidin once replied, declining the honor. “I must walk.”
The photo just released took place at the conclusion of the Kos Shel Bracha distribution of wine. A short while earlier, Freidin stood nearby photographing when suddenly, the Rebbe turned around and pinched Freidin’s fedora hat in jest.
Not fully understanding what had just happened, Freidin was a little shaken up.
As the farbrengen concluded, and the Rebbe was about to leave the main shul, he noticed that Freidin still hadn’t come to himself. To put him at ease, the Rebbe sat back down in his place and posed for a picture, insisting that Freidin take it.