Passover. The commemoration of the parting of the red sea and the escape of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. It is also the 8 days where you will find some Jews dreaming of loaves of sourdough and cookies and longing for the sweet taste of wheat. Keeping Passover means not eating anything with wheat, rye, barley or oats 8 days. We don’t eat bread to recognize how, when the Jews fled from Egypt, they did not have enough time to bake their bread, so it turned into a flat, floury cracker, known as matzah, as they carried it in the sun. This might seem fine, easy even, because, at least at Kenyon, there will be the option of eating some good old meat and Matzah Ball from Peirce, and you will be full and not even notice the absence of any bread. However, for the small group of vegetarian Jews who keep for Passover at Kenyon, this is not the case.
I went into Passover knowing that eating in Peirce was going to be hard. I was told that they did offer some matzah ball soup and even matzah crack (matzah covered in toffee and chocolate, which is the best Passover dessert) from a friend. At this point, I thought “ wow, this will maybe even be easy.” However, eating was much harder than I ever anticipated. Walking in on Saturday for brunch, I went to seek out the Passover options. While I did end up finding the matzah, I also found that the only Passover safe option that they had was chicken. I did not mind this because I knew I still would have the safety of the matzah ball soup. However as I headed over to the soups, I soon discovered that the soup was made with chicken stock, and therefore, was not vegetarian. I decided that I would just wait until dinner to grab an actual meal and, so I just had a bit of the matzah and a matzah meal brownie that was offered. However, the exact same situation repeated itself at dinner. While at this point, I was getting a little hangry, I decided that it would be fine and I would just go to the market and grab some Passover safe food there, and keep it in my room for if I need more than what Peirce offered. However, this was also not the case. When I asked, the market said they offered no Passover friendly food.
The cycle of endlessly eating chickpeas and coco roos in Pierce started to take its toll. During the week, I started to feel more tired and less energized than I normally would, and later in the week, I started to feel a bit dizzy.
I made it to the end of the week keeping Passover safe. However, I realized how hard it can be to eat in college dining halls for some people, and also how much money has to be spent in order to maintain a particular diet or lifestyle.