Amish society is a curiosity for most of us, a quaint reminder of a bygone age before electricity, telephones, motor vehicles, computers or any of the myriad of modern conveniences we rely on. In small rural communities in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa it is not uncommon to see members of the Amish community traveling by horse and buggy or to see them toiling in the fields behind their horse drawn plows and wagons.
The Jerusalem Post brings us a heart-warming story of a group of delegates from the Amish communities in America and Switzerland who made an inspiring journey to Israel. Leaving centuries of tradition behind, the Amish representatives boarded airplanes for their trip to the Holy Land. On Saturday night the group paid a visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall where they asked the Jewish people for forgiveness for their silence during the Holocaust.
According to an announcement issued by the office of Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites Shmuel Rabinovitch, with whom the group met, the Amish delegates saw a great importance in coming to Israel and expressing their contrition, as well as declaring their unreserved support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The delegation members stressed that they are neither seeking any kind of gesture from the Jewish people nor to proselytize, only to support Israel for the simple reason that they haven’t in the past.
Rabinovitch was presented various tokens at a ceremony in the Hassmonean chamber, including a parchment with the request of forgiveness in the name of the entire Amish community. The Amish representatives also gave a commitment that from this time on, they will loudly voice their support of the Jewish people, especially in the wake of the expressions of hatred by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad and his extensions.
God Bless our friends in the Amish community.
November 29, 2010