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.