Amish Ways

Amish Peanut Butter Spread Recipe

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

Amish Peanut Butter Spread Recipe

 

The Amish are known for coming up with delicious one of a kind recipes that you simply wont find elsewhere. One such recipe, Amish peanut butter spread, is sure to leave you tingle your taste buds and leave you wanting more. If you’re enjoy peanut butter and marshmallows, you should give the recipe listed here a try.

 

What is Amish Peanut Butter Spread?

 

Basically, Amish peanut butter spread is a sweet spread that consists primarily of corn syrup, peanut butter and marshmallow spread. It’s quick and easy to make, and it’s great for using on a number of different things. You can use it to dip apples, bandannas or vegetables in, spread it on toast or just eat it plain. Once you have a taste of Amish peanut butter spread, you’ll be hooked for life! Here’s how you make it:

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Amish Alternative Energy

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

 

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

 

 Amish Alternative Energy - Amish Furniture FactoryAmish Alternative Energy Sources

 

Because of their beliefs, Amish communities refrain from accessing or using electricity provided by the municipal power grid. They base their lives around a strict set or rules and principles known the Ordung, which regulates public interaction and behavior with the outside world. However, the Amish have adapted to the times with their own self-sustaining energy sources. To learn more about Amish alternative energy, keep reading and we’ll reveal how they are managing their communities in ways we should all be following.

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Amish Fashion and Clothing Attire

Friday, August 10th, 2012

 

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

One of the most notable characteristics among the Amish is their clothing and overall fashion sense. In fact, most people identify Amish by looking for their distinguishable attire. The traditional black and white attire with a hat or head wrap is usually what gives them away. Here we’ll take a closer at Amish fashion and reveal the reasoning behind their unique style.

 Amish Fashion and Clothing Attire - Amish Furniture Factory

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Amish Education

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

 

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

 Amish Education - Amish Furniture Factory BLOG.

 

Because Amish children avoid public systems and schools, they must attend private schools within their community to further their education. This is a necessary step in the development of every young boy and girl. As you can expect, though, there are some distinguishable differences between traditional schooling and that within an Amish community.

 

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What is Amish Friendship Bread? History, Recipe, and More

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Amish people live in tight-knit communities. Their lives center on their church, home, and families. They even share unique values and traditions and that includes the Amish Friendship Bread.

An Amish Friendship Bread is made from a sourdough starter that the baker can share with friends and neighbors. The whole process of making this bread from scratch takes ten days or more.

Following Amish traditions, you can make an Amish Friendship Bread by sourcing everything you need from natural resources. You can start by milking the cows, milling grains for bread flour, and harvesting sugar canes to acquire sugar. Of course, you don’t have to do all that. You can easily buy these ingredients from the nearest grocery stores and follow the recipe below.

Quick Navigation

The History of the Amish Friendship Bread
Making the Amish Friendship Bread Starter from Scratch
The Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
Making Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Without A Starter
How to Store Amish Friendship Bread After Baking
Conclusion
Amish Friendship Bread
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The History of The Amish Friendship Bread

The origin of Amish Friendship Bread is still unclear as of today. People commonly call this Amish Cinnamon Bread because its main ingredient is cinnamon sugar which is very similar to pound cake and coffee cake.

However, according to the book “The Amish Cook” by Elizabeth Coblentz, a member of the Old Order Amish, the actual Amish Friendship Bread is “just sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy.”

It was, apparently, a simple homemade bread served on the tables of Amish families.

The Amish Friendship Bread Recipe was first posted in newspaper columns in the early 1980s and online in the early 1990s, even though the recipe was already many decades old.

Although the history of making Amish Friendship Bread is still unclear, many compare it to a cake called Herman Friendship Cake (or German Friendship Cake) which was developed in Europe.

The Amish Friendship Bread and the Herman Friendship Cake have the same tradition – giving away the starters for free so more people in the community can enjoy freshly baked homemade bread in their own time.

Making the Amish Friendship Bread Starter from Scratch

The Amish Friendship Bread Starter is the main factor that makes all Amish Friendship Bread special. Having an active one on hand is important because it’s usually passed from person to person.

Just one cup of this bread starter can go a long way.

It is possible to make this anytime and anywhere. You will only need four ingredients to make it – active dry yeast or instant yeast, all-purpose flour, sugar or honey, and milk.

Below is a quick guide on how to make one:

Day One

Start Day One by dissolving 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast or instant yeast in warm water. Let the yeast mixture stand for at least ten minutes.

Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar or honey, and 1 cup milk to the yeast mixture. Mix well and put it inside a glass or plastic container.

Use a wooden spoon in mixing. Leave the covered container at room temperature and stir the bread starter daily.

Day Five

On Day Five, feed the starter with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar or honey, and 1 cup of milk. Continue stirring daily.

Day Ten

On Day Ten, feed the starter again with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar or honey, and 1 cup of milk. You can now divide the starter into four or more portions.

Bake with 1 cup and give away the remaining to your friends. You may also put them inside the freezer for future use.

During the 10-day cycle, you should smell the starter from time to time. It should smell yeasty and beer-like. If it smells sharp and you didn’t feed it for five days, feed it. Smell it again after 48 hours to check.

You can slow down the 10-day cycle by refrigerating the starter. For frozen starters, treat a thawed portion as if it’s Day One. Just keep the remaining starter inside the freezer to preserve the quality.

The Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

The Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
friendshipbreadkitchen

Baking an Amish Friendship Bread Recipe is easy. For many, slowly-developed yeast always makes the best bread.

This is why many bakers and non-bakers continue to learn and develop new bread recipes from the original Amish Friendship Bread recipe.

Considering that the starter is the heart of this Amish bread, the whole procedure is a handful. However, this Amish bread is worth all the time and effort it takes.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Amish bread starter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

If your Amish Bread starter is frozen, do not thaw all of them. Just keep the remaining starter inside the freezer.

The Process:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and set aside two loaf pans. Mix the starter, vegetable oil, powdered sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a glass bowl.

Mix the baking powder, soda, salt, flour, and cinnamon sugar in a separate bowl.

Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ones. Stir to combine. Get the greased loaf pans and fill them with one-half of the batter, using one-fourth for each pan. Batter evenly.

Mix an equal amount of powdered and cinnamon sugar in a dry bowl. Sprinkle half on top of the batter. Fill each loaf pan with the remaining batter and sprinkle the rest of the combined sugars on top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Keep the oven door closed at all times. A sudden drop in temperature may cause your bread dough to collapse in the middle.

Test the bread dough with a toothpick after 50 minutes. If it comes out clean, your Amish Friendship Bread is ready. Allow them to cool in the loaf pans.

Depending on your taste, you may add a bit of a twist to your Amish Friendship Bread. If you want your Amish bread to be a dessert or a sweet treat, add chocolate chips, raisins, diced apples, or anything you like on top of each loaf pan.

You may add a few chocolate chips to the first loaf pan and some raisins to the second loaf pan.

Please note that before you add anything on top of the batter, sprinkle one tablespoon of all-purpose flour first to prevent your mix-ins from sinking.

Making Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Without A Starter

The good news is – you can bake an Amish Friendship Bread without a starter.

It may not turn out as good as the Amish bread with a starter, but this is also a great recipe if you’re craving a nice homemade bread that you can proudly share with your family and guests.

To bake this Amish homemade bread without a starter, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

The Steps:

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Mix the vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, pure vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar in a smaller bowl.

Grease and dust two large loaf pans with 1/2 of the sugar mix. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.

You may also add chocolate chips, raisins, or just about anything on the lightly floured surface of the batter.

Bake for at least 60 minutes. Test the bread dough with a toothpick. Your freshly baked Amish Friendship Bread is ready if it comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

How to Store Amish Friendship Bread After Baking

How to Store Amish Friendship Bread After Baking
easyfoodwaste

After baking an Amish Friendship Bread, you don’t have to refrigerate it. For several days, you can store it at room temperature in an air-tight container like any other baked goods.

If you think you won’t be able to consume the whole Amish bread in a few days, you may wrap it tightly and place it inside the freezer.

You may also slice it before freezing to enjoy one fresh, moist bread at a time.

To reheat your Amish bread, toss it inside a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. For an extra treat, you can also top it with melted butter and a bit of brown sugar.

Just like the Amish Friendship Bread starter tradition, you can have one loaf for your consumption and a few mini loaves to give to your friends and neighbors.

Conclusion

There are many variations of Amish Friendship Bread today. You can stick with the original or use your creativity to improve it based on your taste buds. There are also other delicious bread recipes from the Amish that you can try. 

No matter how you choose to bake and serve your Amish Friendship Bread, try not to forget why this is called a “friendship bread.”




Rumspringa, The Amish Rite of Passage

Friday, July 20th, 2012

 

 

Have you heard of the Amish rite of passage known as “Rumspringa” before? Essentially, this is a time when parents allow their young children (usually age 16) to leave the walls of the Amish community and see what outside life is like. After they’ve experienced it, they’ll have to make a choice as to whether or not they want to continue living the Amish lifestyle.

Let’s take a closer look at Rumspringa and also how this tradition is changing in modern times. 

 

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Is Amish a Religion, Culture, or Belief System?

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

While most people are familiar with the Amish life, few know of their religious beliefs. This lack of knowledge often leads others to misunderstand them and what they believe in.

The Amish is a conservative group who believe that they were called to live a simple and disciplined life. Originating in the 17th century, they are followers of the Christian faith.

They have their own belief system and they follow their own rules. This article aims to help you understand them better.

Quick Navigation
Who Are The Amish?
What are The Amish Beliefs?
The Basic Amish Values, Beliefs, and Practices
What Are The Amish Not Allowed to Do?
How Is The Amish Different from Christianity
The Common Myths About The Amish Tradition

The Amish People

Visit the Amish in Lancaster – www.introducingnewyork.com

The Amish are considered the most conservative group that belongs to the Anabaptist family or Protestant Christians. They first came into being sometime in 1693.

Jakob Ammann, an Anabaptist leader, decided to usher a group of Swiss Mennonites to break from the main body. The main reason involved their differences in the way they practiced the celebration of Communion.

While the Mennonites observed it once a year, Jakob Amman wanted to celebrate it twice per year.

Another reason relates to separatism. Ammann wanted to be separated from non-believers while the Mennonites had no issues with intermingling with non-believers.

Ammann also wanted to observe the washing of the feet. This wasn’t included in the rituals of Mennonites, highlighting another difference they had.

The group faced persecution from both Protestant Christians as well as Catholics. Because of the persecution they faced, they were forced to emigrate to North America. It started in 1727 and continued all the way through 1770.

Compared to the Mennonites, the Amish believed in living a more strict and disciplined lifestyle. In fact, they often shunned the other Mennonites for not following such a lifestyle.

What Are The Amish Beliefs?

Dennis Steinke

The Amish followed the religious teachings of the Mennonite faith. This may seem contradictory, as the Amish parted ways from the Mennonites, but their principal beliefs remain the same.

Both Mennonites and the Amish have strong Christian beliefs and view the Bible as the word of God. They also view the church as the vessel which connects us to the Lord and Savior.

As you can expect, the Amish see religion as a way of life and not merely as a “once a week” activity. Each and every day, they strengthen their faith and beliefs by constant worship in both church and home.

It’s not uncommon to see gatherings at the church each night in Amish communities. In addition, family prayers are constantly spoken throughout the day at home.

Both the Amish and Mennonites believe that most individuals live a sin-filled life and the only salvation from this is to seek forgiveness from Jesus. They don’t force these beliefs on anyone, though.

Instead, they allow young adults to experience the outside world through Rumspringa to see if they want to continue practicing the Amish beliefs. While some may choose to live in the outside world, most young adults go back to their simple Amish lifestyle that’s focused on family and religion.

The Basic Amish Values, Beliefs, and Practices

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Amish people are private people. Instead of displaying or showing their religion, they practice it and use it in their daily lives.

The Amish is a community that weighs heavily on religion and the teachings of the Bible. Here we’ll go a little bit deeper into their beliefs and reveal why they’re so adamant about strictly following the beliefs of their church.

When Do Amish Get Baptized?

Amish communities practice adult baptism. This means that they allow people to choose to be baptized once they are old enough to decide on whether or not to embrace Amish practices.

Amish baptism involves a deacon pouring a cup of water into the hands of a bishop and onto a person’s head. This is done three times. The candidate is also asked to make a confession of faith. He needs to agree and comply with the expected behaviors and regulations of the community.

Failure to comply or show commitment to Amish beliefs can mean ex-communication.

What Do Amish Wear?

The Amish dress style is quite plain and simple. The men typically wear straight-cut coats, dark-colored suits, suspenders and solid-colored shirts. They choose shirts with conventional buttons and black socks and shoes.

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Amish women, on the other hand, wear modest dresses which are generally solid in color. They wear full skirts with long sleeves, a cape as well as an apron.

Unlike most of us, they never cut their hair. They usually wear it in a bun on the back of their head and over it, they wear a prayer covering. They don’t wear jewelry items or even clothes made with printed fabrics.

Why Don’t the Amish Use Electricity?

The Amish choose to deliberately separate themselves from the world and remain self-sufficient. Because of that, public electric and utility lines are considered forbidden. As a result, they are protected from outside influences, such as those coming from the internet, radio, and TV.

However, this doesn’t mean that Amish people don’t use power tools in their farms or houses. Some of them use 12-volt self-contained batteries for such purposes.

Others get creative and rely on either hydraulic or air-powered motors, particularly when operating large household equipment and appliances.

For lighting, they use pressurized gas lanterns which they mount on walls or hang from their ceilings.

How Do Amish Make Money?

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Amish members are great farmers. In fact, for most of their history, they’ve farmed. 

Unfortunately, due to the rising land prices in the different parts of their communities, Amish groups found it hard to rely on just farming alone. 

Amish people found other ways to support their families. Some of them started at-home shops and remote businesses, including making and selling wood products. Some Amish women earn by operating baking, quilting, and craft enterprises. 

Others make a living by taking less common occupations, like providing auctioneer services and even health services. There are Amish members who operate carpentry crews that often work in distant places.

How Are Amish Schooled?

Traditionally, Amish schools only have a single room where kids are taught from grades one through eight. They believe that education beyond that grade is unnecessary for Amish children.

Instead, the kids are taught how they can perform their Amish life duties. For example, boys are given lessons on farming. Amish girls, on the other hand, are taught ways to perform their household duties.

How Do Amish Get Around?

The Michael Bontrager Experience

For longer trips, Amish find horse-and-buggy quite useful. However, if the trip is relatively short in distance, they may use rollerblades, bicycles, and kick scooters. Some even consider walking.

For traveling long distances, Amish people can hire a van and driver. It’s actually a popular choice among people who live traveling in small groups.

Most Amish churches don’t allow air travel. The only time they can fly is during emergency situations, like when they need to travel by helicopter for medical treatment.

Only the New Order Amish churches allow their members to travel by air.

Amish can also ride trains and buses. They are also a common means of traveling for people who require longer-distance transportation.

Do Amish Drink Alcohol?

Typically, yes. 

However, compared with most communities and other groups, they don’t have bars or clubs. They usually enjoy alcohol when they’re in someone’s home or their own property. It’s one of the ways they spend their leisure time together which doesn’t happen a lot.

What Are The Amish Not Allowed to Do?

Amish women aren’t allowed to cut their hair and this goes back to the biblical passages you can find in Corinthians I.

To take care of their long hair, they make sure to brush it in the morning or at night. During the day, they keep them under their white headdresses which are also called prayer coverings.

At night, some of them let their hair down. 

The toys Amish children play with also have rules. For one, they are only allowed to enjoy simple toys.

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This includes dolls with no face. This stems from the Book of Deuteronomy which forbids people from creating idols with human characteristics. Amish communities believe that only God is capable of making humans.

Amish men grow beards, but not all of them. As part of the Amish culture, some unmarried men choose to have a clean, shaven face. Once they’ve married to start their own Amish family, they’ll be allowed to grow out their beard to reflect his transition into the world of manhood.

The Difference Between Amish and Mennonite Beliefs

Mennonite and Amish have similarities. However, even though they came from the same branch of religion, they are still different from each other.

The biggest differences between the two involve their practices and beliefs. For one, Amish families tend to exclude themselves from the greater world. They do this by dressing plain, avoiding the world’s technologies, and shying away from things that can separate them from their families and church.

Mennonites, on the other hand, pay close attention to how important their missionary work is. Some of them even embrace today’s technologies and work hard to spread their faith throughout the world.

Consider these:

A man belonging to the Amish community will ride a horse-driven vehicle while a Mennonite will use a modern automobile to get around. Amish women wear plain, solid-colored dresses while those that belong to the Mennonites will wear plaid or even flowered prints.

In general, Amish members shy away from becoming a part of other groups or populations. They choose to live in close-knit communities. Mennonites, on the other hand, don’t live as separate communities.

The Common Myths About The Amish Tradition

Being a separate community, a lot of myths have grown up surrounding the Amish society. Below are some of the most common ones and the truth behind them.

Amish only eat all-organic food items.

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Amish are excellent farmers. However, this doesn’t mean that they only eat organic produce. 

Some of them have shown interest in organic farming but it hasn’t happened to all Amish farmers. They remain a minority. 

There are Amish farmers that operate with few to no chemicals. Some of them don’t even have organic certification.

Amish men can have more than one wife.

Contrary to what most people think, Amish men don’t practice polygamy. 

Amish marriages are heavily rooted in their community, family, and church. A marriage involves just one man and one woman.

In a typical household, the man is deemed to be the head. The woman, on the other hand, is responsible for being the caretaker of the kids.

Amish people are able to exist throughout several generations because they produce large families. In fact, most of them have half a dozen children.

Having a big family helps ensure that they are able to persist into the next generations. Plus, it also gives them more hands for free labor in managing their farms and other occupations that are considered manual intensive.

Apart from that, having big Amish families help them create a more dependable Amish community. This is a huge deal since most of them don’t have traditional insurance. When needed, they pool their cash as a community to help pay off their health bills.

Considering all those things, marriage in Amish isn’t just an affair between two people- it’s actually a community affair.

Amish don’t use money.

Because Amish families are known for farming and making their own goods, others think that they don’t use money. However, that’s not the case in real life. They actually use cash, checks, and even credit cards.

Amish don’t see traditional doctors.

Amish families don’t have traditional health insurance plans. Purchasing one may show their lack of faith in God who the Amish interpret as their provider.

Because they are known to be economical in terms of their health care choices, most of them tend to self-medicate before seeing health professionals. They take folk medicine and herbal treatments to remedy an ailment. They also practice faith healing.

However, the Amish community doesn’t avoid going to doctors or using modern medicine. They even see specialists when they don’t feel any improvement in their health condition.

Amish don’t pay their taxes.

Even if they shy away from being a part of society and enjoying modern conveniences, they still pay their taxes. That includes their property, income, sales, and other local taxes.

However, they are exempted from Social Security and they don’t collect either. 

Amish are all farmers.

Tuma Time

Even though they have farms, they aren’t their only source of income. Some of them are woodworkers and carpenters while others are involved in construction. There are also Amish members who own businesses and shops.

Amish only travel by horses and carts.

As mentioned earlier, they don’t just rely on horses and carts when traveling. They have a lot of options, including pedal-less bikes, scooters, and roller skates. These are their popular choices when it comes to short-distance travel.

Amish members can’t leave their society.

Any member of the Amish community is free to leave. In some cases, people who have left may even be allowed to return within a limited time.

However, once a person decides to leave permanently, he’ll be shunned.

Shunning means considering that person a stranger or outsider forever. He won’t be allowed to join or participate in his community again. Even family ties will be cut.

Another way to be shunned from the Amish church is by defying the authority known as Ordnung

In case you are wondering, Ordnung refers to the unwritten sets of regulations that serve as guides for the Amish people in their everyday lives. You can think of it as the one giving orders or serving as the foundation of their community.

Tuma Time

Its purpose?

It upholds their society. Without it, anyone can just join and leave as they please and that can cause tons of problems for everyone.

You can’t find its strictures in the bible; instead, they are based on Scriptural principles.

Here’s an example:

Consider the plain Amish dress. It may seem like a way to limit one’s self-expression, but in reality, it helps limit pride and envy. It’s based on several passages in their Scripture.

The Ordnung is also what prohibits certain behaviors in the community. The list includes suing in court, running for political office, using public electricity, and divorce.

Amish can’t have fun or parties.

Becoming a member of the Amish community can be a lifetime commitment. Because of this, their elder church members allow some space for the younger ones to explore their curiosity.

For one year, young members are allowed to drive cars, drink, and be a part of the regular society to let them know what they’re all about. They call it the Rumspringa.

After it’s over, the Amish youth are asked to make a choice. They either join their community and completely embrace their way of life or get shunned. 

Outsiders can’t join the Amish church.

Although difficult for most people, outsiders can become a part of the Amish community. Non-Amish people can do so through convincement or conversion.

First, they would need to live among the members and show genuine interest in changing their lifestyle and becoming a part of the society and the Amish way of living.

This means letting go of the things they’ve been used to, like automobiles, electricity, and modern conveniences. You have to separate yourself from the modern world and modern technology.

You have to do this for about a year. You can live by yourself or you can find Amish families that are willing to take guests. Take note that other Amish families aren’t open to the idea of having outsiders in their homes. Additionally, you’ll need to attend their Amish worship services and church services every Sunday. 

After a year, the elder church members will decide whether or not to take you in. If their votes are affirmative, you’ll be considered a full member of the Amish society.

Amish men can’t cut their facial hair.

Boggled

Amish men grow beards, particularly those who are married. They grow and never cut it. However, mustaches aren’t allowed.

When an Amish man has a clean or cleanly shaven face, it’s an indication that he’s not married.

They can’t get their photos taken.

This isn’t true. However, non-Amish people are highly encouraged to use their sound judgment when taking photos. Most Amish members want privacy and they don’t want other people disrespecting their homes and properties.

Boggled




How Amish Life is Changing

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

 

Tobin Talks Shop – How Amish Life Is Changing

 

The history of the Amish people is being written every day, as the world is changing so fast and Amish families and congregations are all making decisions about fitting in. Although many things about the Amish culture are deeply rooted in the past, it’s impossible to live in the world today without facing challenges to those strong roots.


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A Guide To Amish Beliefs

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Amish people, better known as the Amish Mennonite people, are a group of people which descended from the Swiss. In 1693, Jakob Ammann separated from his church, the church of the Alsatian Anabaptists, and those that followed him became known as the Amish. The group immigrated to Pennsylvania, where they still live in the surrounding areas. There are more than 225,000 Amish in the United States today and they are seen as a calm, passive, hard-working people who live in their own world.

Way of Life

The Amish believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. As such, they are guided by their faith. They believe that living a life of discipline and service is what will bring them to God. They deliberately forgo modern amenities such as automobiles, electricity, and even telephones. The Amish are known to follow their own interpretation of the teachings of the bible and work to retain solidarity in their community.

Technology

There are a number of common misconceptions regarding the Amish community and their use of technology. If you aren’t familiar with their lifestyle and practices, one would probably assume they shy away from using any form of modern technology. After all, isn’t that one of their most notable traits? To learn the truth about the Amish and their views on using modern technology, keep reading.

The main reason why much of the Amish community avoids the use of various technology is because they feel like it takes away from their core principles and teaches. Amish communities remain family-oriented and stress the importance of this to their children. Without TV’s, cell phones and other high-tech distractions, there’s a stronger bond developed amongst family members.

Most Amish communities avoid owning cars because it opens them up to a new world of dangerous possibilities. When teenagers are given a new car, they’ll likely spend more time away from the church and home. In addition, it increases the risk that something dangerous could happen to them, such as being mugged, robbed or injured in an automobile accident. This isn’t to say that the entire Amish community is against the use of cars, though. On the contrary, many individuals within the community hire buses or taxis to transport them to and from different cities.

The Ordnung and How It Affects Technology

The Ordnung is a set of rules and principles used to uphold the beliefs of the Amish community. Typically, this prohibits certain behavior such as divorce, public electricity, suing other members, running for political office, and the use of certain technological devices. Depending on the specific community, the Orgung may prohibit the possession of automobiles, cell phones, televisions and other devices.

Tools Commonly Used By The Amish

To help their community create and manufacture products, the Amish often use power drills and tools. Because they can’t use public electricity, these tools must be converted to run off certain types of batteries. Pneumatic or hydraulic systems powered by diesel generators are often used to run workshops where craftsman create furniture and other items.

After reading this article, hopefully you have a better understanding as to what the Amish belief is regarding technology. They aren’t against using all types of technology, as they see the benefit in it. However, they do realize they certain types of modern day technologies, such as cars, can take away from their core values and principles.

 

Dress Code

The Amish shun bright colors. They also avoid wearing any kind of decorative items, including jewelry and pins. Children often go barefoot in warm weather. Amish men normally do not cut their facial hair and wear beards but not mustaches, as they believe mustaches are a sign of militarism. Women wear long dresses and aprons while men wear plain pants and shirts. Dark colors generally form the basis of the Amish wardrobe for adults while young girls often wear pastel dresses.

Schooling

Amish children only attend school up until eighth grade. Most children attend schools that are operated by the Amish community. If there is a conflict about age, a child is able to leave school. In this system, a child is simply put through eighth grade again and again until he or she is old enough to graduate. Very few Amish children ever attend college but it does not mean that they do not receive an adequate education. When given standardized tests, Amish children perform on par with other children their age. When formal education ends, Amish boys will begin an apprenticeship to learn their trade and girls will learn the skills necessary to maintain the home.

Work

Work is an integral part of life in Amish country. They believe that working actually nourishes one’s soul. Being considered a poor worker is a very bad thing in the community. Most Amish do work that involves intense labor like farming or blacksmithing. While many Amish people are skilled farmers, it is a common misconception that all Amish people are farmers. Many Amish men work in local factories and young women will often work in restaurants. Work is also a time for the Amish to socialize with each other, as is the case when barn raisings happen.

Courtship & Marriage

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Amish teenagers go through a period of rumspringa, the period of adolescence that begins the time of serious courtship. During this time, the strict church rules are relaxed and boys and girls are allowed to socialize with each other. Once this period is over, the teenager is baptized into the church. It’s from the church that they will find someone to marry, as marriages between people of differing churches are usually not allowed. Amish weddings begin at 9am and start with hymns which are followed by a sermon. The bride and groom do not wear special wedding clothes. The wedding day concludes with a big celebration with up to 500 guests. Marriage is considered for life in the Amish community and divorce is virtually unheard of.

 

Healthcare

The Amish believe that good health is a gift from God but they do actually use modern medicine. If someone is very ill, they will seek outside help if it’s needed. They do not carry health insurance. They also band together to help pay off medical bills.

Taxes and Insurance

As the Amish reject Social Security benefits, the government excused them from having to pay taxes on social security and insurance benefits. They also have a religious objection to insurance as a whole, which helped the government decide this. Even self-employed Amish people do not receive any kind of government benefits. Amish people who decide to work for non-Amish employers are taxed. They do not pay into worker’s compensation but they do pay all other taxes. The Amish community is known to band together to assist each other and this makes insurance and social security benefits unnecessary.

Transportation

The Amish do not use cars. Instead, they travel with a horse and buggy. The stricter communities have the plainer buggies. Strict community buggies are extremely plain and wooden, stopped by using a manual lever to break. Communities that are slightly more modern will have buggies that are less conservative. For instance, some buggies will have sliding doors in place of rollup side curtains. The front part of these buggies may even have Plexiglas windshields and lights. Some of them even have hydraulic brakes.

Ever notice how there are very few pictures of Amish standing and posing in front of a camera? Well, this is because they actually go out of their way to avoid having their pictures taken. Depending on where you are, you may even see signs reading “No Pictures,” which is just one more sign of their unique belief. But why exactly do Amish avoid want to avoid having their pictures taken? To learn more about their beliefs and views on photography, keep reading.

Photography

Just because the Amish dislike having their pictures taken doesn’t mean you won’t find pictures with them in it. I’ve personally come across hundreds if not thousands of pictures with Amish people in it. The difference, however, is the fact that they are not posing in these pictures. Most Amish individuals have no problem being in pictures as long as they aren’t posing. In this case, they feel like they are simply a part of the landscape rather than the focus of the picture. This is why you may come across pictures with Amish on our blog and dozens of other websites on the internet.

 Why Do Amish Avoid Having Their Pictures Taken?

The reasoning behind their desire to avoid pictures goes back to their religion. Exodus 20:4 states, “Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Naturally, this would leave one to believe that pictures fall under the category of graven images. By posing in pictures, the Amish could be going against their religious beliefs and everything they stand for.

There are some varying beliefs on Amish children. Since they haven’t been baptized yet, some Amish towns and communities believe children can be photographed without fear of breaking Exodus 20:4. Perhaps this is why so many business advertisements in Amish country use pictures and photos of children rather than adults.

If you ever find yourself visiting Amish Country, you should remain respectful of their views on photography. Some people won’t mind if you take their picture as long as you block out their face, others don’t want any type of picture taken of them. You’ll have to pay attention to the signs or ask a resident around the Amish town you are visiting for more information on photography.