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54-61_ami155_feature2_Zaks

54-61_ami155_feature2_Zaks

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Published by Hirshel Tzig
D Zaklikowski's article in Ami re: pictures and the Lubavitcher & Satmar Rebbes
D Zaklikowski's article in Ami re: pictures and the Lubavitcher & Satmar Rebbes

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Published by: Hirshel Tzig on Feb 10, 2014
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04/21/2015

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Since the invention of the camera, the relationship between chasidic Rebbes and the people who try to photograph them has been complicated. Both the Lubavitcher and Satmar Rebbes, ztl, struggled to keep the cameras offbut for very different reasons.B DOVID ZAKLIKOSKI
Photos: Trainer Studios and Lubavitch Archives
Mr. Harry Trainer with the only photo the Satmar Rebbe posed for
 
56
 
AMI MAGAZINE
// FEBRUARY 5, 2014
 
// 5 ADAR I 5774
W
hile nowadays pictures of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson,
zt”l
, are ubiqui-
tous, it may come as a surprise to some that there
was a time when such photos were rare, even in
Chabad circles, at the Rebbe’s clear behest. In fact, the Rebbe would deliberately cover his face when-
ever photographer Harry Trainer tried to take a picture of the Rebbe being
mesader kiddushin
 at a
wedding—a fact he found exasperating.
Sitting in his home last week, Mr. Trainer dis-cussed how he played an integral role in making
pictures of chasidic Rebbes available to the public.
It all began with the difficulties he was having taking wedding photos that anyone would want
to buy.Harry Trainer’s career as a photographer began in 1940, when as a student at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath
in Brooklyn he won a camera in a raffle. “I would go around the
 yeshivah
 taking pictures,” he said.
“It was a relatively new thing and no one minded.”Two years later he began doing it professionally.
In fact, he basically cornered the market for
 frum
 weddings in the 1940s and ’50s. “In those days you had to use a lot of artificial light in order to take a picture indoors. They didn’t even invent a camera with a flash mounted on it until the early 1940s, so in those years there were no pictures of indoor weddings. For
chasan
 and
kallah
 pictures, if you were more ‘modern’ you went with your fiancée and took pictures in a studio before the
chuppah
. The
 frummer 
 ones would go to the studio
right after the
 yichud
 and then come back to the
wedding hall and get on with the show.”
 When the first flash camera was invented, Mr. Trainer bought one for five and a half dollars. Shortly thereafter, he realized that he could make things a lot easier for the
chasan
 and
kallah
 and their families because there was no longer a need to rush out to a studio for pictures. His name
gradually spread, and pretty soon he was working almost every night.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe covers his face with his siddur as a photographer tries to take a picture.

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