My Passover at BC High

Mark Lugas '18, Contributor

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When you think of where Passover is celebrated, the Jesuit run BC High is not the first place that comes to mind. However, this is where I celebrated Passover this year, and it was truly an interesting experience. For the entirety of the week-long holiday, I observed Passover dietary laws and wore what would soon become my infamous Boston College yarmulke. My Passover experience at BC High was one interesting event after another, and there were never any dull moments.

During Passover, strict dietary laws are imposed upon anyone who celebrates the holiday. These laws prohibit the eating of leavened bread, wheat and barley products, pork, and many other foods. Due to these strict restrictions, one of the few foods I could eat was matzo, a type of unleavened bread which has no flavor and contains a measly 56 calories a piece. Matzo traditionally serves as a substitute for bread during Passover, so every day I ate what I can only assume looked like the most depressing meal in existence to my friends at the lunch table: a bottle of water and PB&J on matzo. At the beginning of the week, my lunches did not taste bad, in fact, I found myself actually enjoying them. However, by the end of the week, I shuddered whenever fourth period came around, fearing the horrendous taste of jelly on matzo. It is here where I offer my most important piece of advice to any others who may also celebrate this holiday, and that is to choose who you sit with at lunch wisely.

You do not want to be sitting with the guy who sees you eating your sad, almost pathetic lunch of PB&J on matzo and decides it would be hilarious to say “Mmm” and “This is so delicious” when chowing down on pizza in front of your face. It was times like that when I thought of my step-father, who decided not to follow the dietary laws saying, “If my ancestors had to suffer through eating matzo in the desert, then why should I, too?” However, I pushed on, keeping the laws and showing my devotion to God.
Besides eating matzo everyday, I also wore my unique Boston College yarmulke to school. I am not required to wear a yarmulke during holidays like Chanukkah or Passover, but I do as a sign to show my devotion. I have worn my yarmulke at times throughout the year, this was not a new sight to everyone at BC High. However, this was many people’s first time seeing it, including one particular faculty member. Out of respect for their privacy, I will not reveal the name of this faculty member, but I will describe the incident that occurred.

While sitting in the cafeteria before school early in the week, I was talking to my friends when suddenly, I feel the yarmulke get taken off my head and I heard a voice say, “No hats in school”. I turned around and said, “I’m sorry, but that’s not a hat. It’s a yarmulke”. The faculty member was confused, looking at my yarmulke, and asked if I was telling the truth. I said yes, to which they gave me my yarmulke back. As soon as they left, my friends all started laughing hysterically. Later that day at lunch, the same faculty member came back and gave me an apology-compliment hybrid. Although some thought what the faculty member did was outrageous, I assured them that I did not have a problem because I could understand their confusion; my BC yarmulke does not look like a traditional yarmulke. This event should have been over that day, but because my friends witnessed it, they immediately made a joke that spread around our class like a wildfire. For the rest of the week, I had friends and strangers alike jokingly saying to me, “No hats in school” whenever they saw me with my yarmulke in the hallways.

That was my Passover at BC High. A week of sad lunches and jokes about wearing hats in school. I enjoyed celebrating Passover at BC High, and I am incredibly grateful that I go to such an accepting school that allows me to celebrate my holidays. I greatly appreciate the acceptance and support of all the students and faculty of BC High, an I look forward to Passover at BC High next year, matzo sandwiches and all.

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My Passover at BC High