Bedarchei HaTorah No. 41 BDARCHEI_HATORAH_FALL_2018 - Page 23

The Oasis that Gave 200 Bachurim a Chance to Soar I t’s a long way from Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s campus in Far Rockaway to Todd Road, a qui- et country lane with no outlet in rural Sullivan County. But it is here, on the grounds of Camp Oraysa, that nearly 200 bachurim spent four weeks of aliyah this summer, recharging their physical and spiritual batteries as they scaled new heights in Torah and avodah. Camp Oraysa is located in the picturesque Catskills region of New York. It is more than two miles from the nearest store. Yet the camp’s relative isolation is its greatest advantage, as it allowed the bachurim – from both Mesivta Chaim Shlomo and Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid – to learn, play and refresh their spirits under the guidance of fifteen rabbeim. The talmidim of Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid heard daily shiurim from the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, in the camp’s spacious, air- conditioned beis medrash. With a slightly modified schedule, they were able to take advantage of Camp Oraysa’s 92 expansive acres – its fields of green grass as far as the eye can see, its multiple athletic fields, its outdoor swimming pool and its indoor gymnasium. The talmidim of Mesivta Chaim Shlomo were divided into several daily shiurim delivered by distin- guished maggidei shiur. They availed themselves of the camp’s array of facilities and were divided into sports leagues. The boys also went on several super- vised trips throughout the camp session. Camp Oraysa is led by the indefatigable Rav Moshe Bender, the associate dean of Yeshiva Darchei Torah. “The camp manages to pack, into just four weeks, a lifetime of energy and ruach,” he says. “It’s more than a change of scenery; it’s a time and place that is custom-made for the bachurim to grow. They get ample exercise, intensive shiurim, three delicious meals a day, and uplifting Shabbosos and melave malkas. But most of all, the camp setting allows them to deepen their relationships with their rabbeim and chaveirim in a way that is simply unattainable in the city.” Running Camp Oraysa requires around-the-clock attention from a staff of administrative, maintenance and kitchen workers, as well as weeks of planning and preparation throughout the year. Enabling each and every bachur who wants the Oraysa experience to attend – including those with financial hardship – means that Rav Altusky and Rav Moshe Bender need to raise funds to augment the camp fees. But it’s all worth it, in Reb Moshe’s estimation. “After four weeks, when you see the tangible growth and happiness on a bachur’s face – how can you measure that? The Camp Oraysa experience is truly priceless.” ! BEDARCHEI HATORAH FALL 5779/2018 21