Friday, January 21, 2011

Amish Orthopraxy

I have been watching this BBC series on the Amish, following two Amish men who are essential Orthoprax Amish. They are still believing Christians, but they struggle with trying to keep their Amsih lifestyle while being outcasts in the Amish community due to their alternative worldview.

Enjoy and have a great Shabbos/Weekend.

Part 1:
(See the section with them watching the horses, looks kinda like a Chassidishe gathering)

Part 2:
(Strict Rules on dress, remind you of anything?)

Part 3:

Part 4:
(Note the laws of Tahor and Tammei)

Part 5:

Part 6:


  1. This is fascinating and absolutely relevant. Great links.

  2. Wow - no doubt all of us watching were seeing the parallels - especially amongst Chassidim. Of course - there is at least one MAJOR difference in attitude - they ban their adherents from learning their own religious sources, whereas we not only encourage but demand knowledge for all. Not that this really makes a difference, as the bottom line is that the leaders rule without question or need for sources, and are able to ban or excommunicate for whatever they feel is inappropriate - and with impunity.

  3. I have watched and enjoyed these videos. They give a much more accurate picture of the Amish than most sources. I can't stomach movies and books about the Amish when who ever made them clearly does not know everything they pretend to and the finished materials are filled with flaws and inaccuracies that make me cringe.

  4. I happen to agree with their leaders. All this technology is making us -- me -- crazy. People are bored out of their minds, working at jobs they can't stand, and looking at their blackberries day and night.

    I was surprised how someone as skeptical as this dude, has no questions about the divinity of Jesus. I am not saying that the Christians don't have some half-decent apologetics (indeed, I am agnostic to the question of whether Jesus performed miracles; it's just that the Torah says that we should ignore false prophets who perform miracles; and the Sanhedrin said that he was a false prophet). I am just saying that he doesn't even bring up the question. It's quite common for people not to question, but for someone as skeptical as him you would have expected him to ask questions about the Bible itself.

    Therefore, the real reason, I think, that he is rejecting Amish customs is because the majority of Americans believe that it is bull. He is impressed by the outsiders. For that very reason, he doesn't question the Bible: since the majority of Americans believe in the Bible. It appears that he isn't that skeptical after all.

  5. abele derer - I think you might be right, but you might also be wrong: People often start with questioning details, and only later start to question the fundamentals.

  6. Interesting! Read "Under the Banner of Heaven". A fantastic book about Mormons. Also has a page or two about Mormon Orthpraxy. Quoted briefly here -

  7. i saw this a while back, i am quite suprised that they would become outcasts for what seems to be religious observence that is congruent with Amish beliefs, ok so it isn't the ordunung but the Amish are christian in any case, chas ve chulila one should use english instead of german :-p

    was very interesting to watch.


  8. It seems so beautiful out there where they live -- why do so many people, including our own, disdain such beauty and instead live in concrete jungles?

  9. There's a follow-up now:

  10. It is sad to see any community of people chose ignorance over reality. Especially someone who is a highly educated BT.