“There are so many benefits that a bachur gains from Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim summer camp program. First and foremost is the limud haTorah itself. The summer is a time when bachurim require a bit more motivation than during the year and the Dirshu program has proven to be an exemplary motivator. The fact that bachurim are learning Halacha and accustoming themselves to learn Mishnah Berurah every single day is a remarkable routine that starts when they are young but can often continue through life.
“Another important benefit is the fact that bachurim spend a half hour each day actually reading the Mishnah Berurah. It is well known that many difficulties that bachurim face are a result of imperfect reading skills. This summertime opportunity to engage in reading the Mishnah Berurah empowers them to perfect their reading, it is an opportunity that should not be missed. Last but not least the bachurim develop a tremendous chashivus for the Chofetz Chaim and that can last a lifetime,” said Rabbi Menachem Schmelczer, Dirshu Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim maggid shiur at Camp Toras Chaim Tashbar.
Baruch Hashem, some 13 camps are participating in the Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim camp program this summer. The fact that over 2,500 bachurim who came to enjoy their summer in camp are at the same time learning daily Mishnah Berurah on Hilchos Beis Haknesses and Hilchos Kriyas Sefer Torah, is a tremendous kiddush Hashem.
Rabbi Aharon Tashman, one of the Dirshu magidei shiur in Camp Degel HaTorah, explained that the program has had a transformative impact on the learning: “The Dirshu seder takes place during afternoon seder in our camp. In the past, that seder was not one of the strongest sedarim, but since we instituted the Dirshu program it not only strengthened the seder but was also mechazek the entire tzurah of the day. This year,” Rabbi Tashman continued, “we have had 100 percent participation in the program.
“Just to provide a glimpse into the tremendous ruach it has brought into the camp is the very fact that it is not uncommon for bachurim, after the shiur ends at 2:45, to gather around and ask shailos, spending a half hour ‘tumuling’ about the halachos that we learned that day,” Rabbi Tashman said!
The nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, who visited three participating camps last week, praised the bachurim for the achdus through limud haTorah that characterized their participation in the program and showed through the prism of Chazal how unified dedication to limud haTorah brings the geulah closer.
“Rav Avrohom Yosef Deutsch, director of Camp Degel HaTorah, told me,” Rabbi Aharon Tashman related, “that at times when he circulates the camp at night making spot checks to ensure that all is in order he notices bachurim in the bunkhouses, heads bent over the distinctive Dirshu Mishnah Berurah pamphlets, chazering or checking something out. It is amazing to see how involved they have become in the program, to the extent that even in their free time in the bunkhouse they are learning!”
Rabbi Tashman from Degel HaTorah emphasizes another aspect of the chizuk spreading through the entire camp as a result of the program. “The Dirshu seder plays an integral role in the learning and ruchniyus of the entire camp. Firstly, it teaches every boy the value of temidus, of regular daily learning no matter what happens. If there is a trip, Dirshu comes along; on Friday afternoon, a time that is often neglected, we are plugging away with the Dirshu seder after Mincha; on Shabbos morning after Kiddush before the seudah the Dirshu seder continues.”
In his address at Camp Toras Chessed, Rav Hofstedter continued on the theme of achdus and the concept that bein adam l’chaveiro is not just a nice middah but is an integral component of success in Torah learning itself.
Rabbi Schmelzer concluded by highlighting the vitally important chazara component of the program. “Dirshu has done everything to encourage and incentivize chazara—quantifiable knowledge and retention of the halachos learned. They have published and distributed to each participant a ‘sikum’ booklet with the final halachic outcomes of material learned. In addition, they also give chazara questions whereby the bachurim can test themselves, thereby preparing for the test.”
Rabbi Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s American director concludes, “Just watching the bachurim who participate in Dirshu Daf HaYomi L’Bochurim enthusiastically dancing, with simcha shining from their faces, shows that there is no simcha like the simcha of true Torah accomplishment.”