- Ella Shusterman
Shiriyah is all about bringing the grades closer together and creating a sense of unity throughout the school. In all four grades, almost every student made some contribution to their grade’s hallway that helped create these extraordinary designs. Every effort was essential and deserves recognition. The Freshmen’s theme for 2021 was the four questions that are asked at the Pesach Seder. They divided their hallway into four sections to represent their theme. Their grade color, green, radiated throughout their whole hallway, but each section also features a different grade’s color. No matter where you are from, how old you are, or what grade you are in, these four questions are asked at the Pesach seder every year. After these questions are asked, the children at the Seder finally receive their answer to why these practices and customs are performed: “Avadim Hayinu L’Pharoah B’Mitzraim,” but we were redeemed and are now celebrating our freedom. The Freshmen demonstrated this by including this quote and putting gold pyramids to represent Egypt. Although their theme is the four questions of Pesach, the concept of questions can be applied to the Freshmen class as a whole. The Freshmen have just arrived at a new school with their own endless questions about where to go and what to do. Some examples of these questions can also be seen in the Freshmen hallway, such as “Who is the bio teacher?” and “How do I get to the gym?” The Freshmen’s hallway was very well done, and no doubt we will only continue to see more amazing hallways from this class!
The Sophomores’ theme for 2021 was the 4 cups of wine that we drink on Pesach. Their purple hallway was covered with artistic creations of the wine cups, both 3-D and pasted on the wall. The Sophomores also created a table featuring 4 cups of wine. They implemented quotes from the Talmud indicating the times when we drink the wine during the Seder and put some of them on purple posters. Finally, the Sophomores included a poster of a Jewish family reciting Kiddush at their Pesach Seder. The Sophomores astonished everyone when they took first place in Shiriyah 2021, but their sense unity can be portrayed through their beautiful hallway.
Next, we have the Seniors, who were given the theme of the 4 stages of redemption. At the start of the hallway, the Seniors put pictures from all 4 years of their high school experience. The pictures go chronologically by grade, and lead to a year of learning in Israel. This is similar to how the 4 stages of redemption led the Jews to Israel. On each wall, the Seniors put one stage of Bnei Yisrael’s redemption. The first features the Jewish people as slaves crying to Hashem for him to take them out of their suffering. The second was Hashem beginning to ease their pain and the workload of slavery. Then, the Seniors put the Ten Plagues that Hashem brought upon the Egyptians that finally convinced them to free the Jewish people. Finally, we have the last stage of redemption, when Bnei Yisrael were given the Torah at Har Sinai and emerged as a strong and unified nation. In the middle of their hallway, the Seniors created a depiction of Kriyat Yam Suf, the splitting of the sea that leads to the map of Israel. The Seniors united as a grade one final time to create their beautiful hallway, but now they must embark on a new journey, just like Bnei Yisrael. Best of luck, Seniors! Great job!
Last but not least, we have the grade that won the hallway competition: the Juniors. The Juniors were given the theme of the Arba Banim who ask questions at the Pesach Seder. The Juniors made cut-out cartoons of the 4 different boys out of cardboard, and made each one represent a different grade’s color. Each son has his own characteristics: there is the Chacham, Rasha, Tam, and She’eno Yodaya Lishol, and they each ask about the Pesach customs in a way that identifies them with their qualities. The questions of each son, as included in the Haggadah, are all on the wall of the Juniors’ hallway. However, the Haggadah also teaches us the importance of the concept, “Chinuch L’Naar Al Pi Darcho”- each child needs to be educated in their own way. This quote is featured in their hallway, and the Juniors decided to make this idea of education their central theme. On one wall, the Juniors pasted pictures of almost every member of the NSHAHS faculty, representing how much the class appreciates every teacher and the qualities they possess to ensure each child’s own educational needs are met. The Juniors created a mock classroom on a different wall, which includes desks and stools they created, as well as a chalkboard featuring this important quote. The same wall is also covered with question marks, indicating the significance of asking questions in order to gain knowledge. On a different wall, the Juniors created a beautiful tree to represent the Etz Hadaat, the tree of knowledge that exists in Gan Eden. Amazing job, Juniors!