#TBT Grandpa Henry girds his loins to fight evil at a Purim party in 1933? If he were alive today I know he’d say that civilized human beings should be able to tolerate Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten without picking up assault rifles.(Did someone say it’s #Throwback Thursday?)
This is my grandfather, Henry (Chaim) Billauer. It’s 1933. He dressed as a Swiss Mountaineer at the Winthrop MA temple. I think this may come from a Purim party.
Grandpa Henry was a kind and funny man who made his way to the US from Warsaw via Switzerland (where he and my grandmother met and fell in love; her family–12 children!!–were enroute to the US to restart their paperbox factory).
There are scads of pictures of him and my Grandma Alice (Esther) dressed up in costumes, so Purim would be an opportunity for him to be joyous and serious at the same time.
Henry Billauer knew that evil exists and can’t be eliminated; but he was a part of the struggle to deal with and contain the scourge, always living forward with courage and optimism. I remember hearing about Purim celebrations where the Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) was read in Hebrew with rowdy booing and hissing when Haman’s name was read aloud.
I can picture Grandpa Henry trying to drown out the name of this arch-villain whenever it’s mentioned. And waving that walking stick!