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Amish-Jewish pow-wow in NYC

This is old news by now, but the big Amish-themed story of last week was not an April Fool’s joke, though some may have thought that the case.  A group of Lancaster Amish were invited to visit an Orthodox Jewish community (no longer online) in NYC.  Looks like they had a nice walk-through and cultural exchange and so on.

The story examines similarities between the two groups.

The Amish-Hasidic comparison was most famously made in the film Witness, when little Lukas Haas, playing Amish boy Samuel Lapp, mistakes an Orthodox Jew for an Amishman while waiting in the Philly railway station.

As far as inter-religious connections go, there are of course the large families, plain clothing, beards, and it seems, a mutual respect.  One Amishman commented in the story that “in some things we are alike, like our clothing and our traditional beliefs.”  On the other hand, his wife added,  “And in somethings we are not. The biggest thing is that Jesus is our savior.”  Yes, I suppose there is that wee little difference to keep in mind.

Anyway, it was an interesting story to see coming after a post of a couple weeks back examining Amish thinking on the Jewish faith.

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    6 Comments

    1. Emily

      What a fascinating article! It made me think of my one visit to Lancaster County–we took a buggy ride from an Amish business that offers them, and it was us and a bunch of Orthodox Jewish families. Very interesting connection!

    2. Hmmm, I’d say the faith difference is pretty significant – they do share the three Bs – black hats, beards and big families. Amish remind me more of Catholics actually, even though Catholics dress like the mainstream – large families, strict beliefs, customs that may seem strange to those not within the faith. I had a conversation with an Amish woman once about how alike we, as humans, are when you get down to the nitty gritty though and that was a lot of fun. I bet underneath it all, the Jews and the Amish, when given time to have a heart-to-heart, are more alike as human beings than they realize. Neat post.

    3. You should really watch the terms you are using, to ensure you are not offending other ethnic groups. I.E, American Indians and the term Pow wow.

    4. Truly, with all due respect, I’m sure there was no offensive intent in using the word Pow Wow. It has native American origins, but there’s nothing discourteous about it and if you’ve been a follower of this blog, you know the author is anything BUT offensive. I would hope a Mexican wouldn’t be offended if we had a “fiesta”. There are plenty of offensive blogs out there, but I hardly think this is one of them. It’s a very subjective topic – what’s offensive to one will not be offensive to another.

    5. I think that the fact that the Amish have Jesus as their Saviour IS the big difference between them and the Jewish faith.
      As far as the Pow-wow comment goes coming from a reservation (in Canada) I do not find it offensive but found it an interesting combination~~Amish~Jewish Faith~~and Pow-wow! That is why I read this article in the first place. Pow-wows are a gathering and time of sharing religious and so on. I won’t go into details here.

    6. Kim

      I am a late visitor and the AP link is no longer available. 🙁