News > Tuesday, March-31-2009

Chabad Rabbi Gives Amish a Walking Tour In Crown Heights

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn [CHN]  Rabbi Beryl Epstein of Crown Heights took the Pennsylvania Amish on a walking tour of their world Tuesday, saying their communities are naturally drawn to each other with a commitment to simpler lifestyles.

"It's reinforcing to the Amish community to see us Jews living the way the Bible says Jews are supposed to live, and have lived since the time of Moses and Abraham," says Israel Ber Kaplan, program director for the Chassidic Discovery Center in Brooklyn. "The Amish are also living their lives as the Bible speaks to them."

Dozens of Amish residents from Lancaster County, Pa., toured a Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn's Crown Heights - the second year in a row the community invited the Amish to learn more about their culture.

Rabbi Beryl Epstein called the tour "living Judaism."

The neighborhood is home to an ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher sect born about 200 years ago in Poland.

Today's Lubavitchers wear black hats and beards of their 18th-century Russian and Polish forebears, speak Yiddish and shun amenities like electricity on the Sabbath.

The Amish also traditionally live off the land and without electricity and other modern amenities.

Residents did double-takes on the Brooklyn streets as the two groups walked side by side, touring a Jewish library and a "Matzo factory," where round, unleavened bread was being made for the Passover holiday.

Hasidic children in Crown Heights begin their formal schooling at age 3, and by age 5 are studying many hours a day. At the headquarters on Brooklyn's Eastern Boulevard each day, dozens of men gather to pore over religious books, with little boys dashing around as their fathers fervently debate fine points of the texts - sometimes sounding more like spirited poker players than religious faithful.

John Lapp and his wife, Priscilla, brought their three children on the tour. He said the ties to the communities might be more surface than substance.

"In some things we are alike, like our clothing and our traditional beliefs," John Lapp said. Priscilla Lapp added, "And in some things we are not. The biggest thing is that Jesus is our savior."


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Comments for

LATINA

This was so cool the AMISH in NYC!!!! I Would LOVE to visit the AMISH.
posted by Guest at Thursday, October-22-2009 6:41pm

Alvin Shapiro

The Amish may drive in a car if someone else drives. That would solve the problem of moving from place to place. They don't use electric, but mostly everything is run on propane including appliances. If you read up on who they are and what then believe in than you wouldnt contribute such lame questions.
posted by Guest at Monday, July-27-2009 10:17pm

CH2`

Those beards look fake(???)
posted by Guest at Wednesday, April-01-2009 4:45pm

amish lover

i love the amish!!!!!!!
posted by Guest at Wednesday, April-01-2009 2:13pm

eli

.....i never heard of this. Whats 'Amish' mean?
posted by Guest at Wednesday, April-01-2009 6:45am

Simcha

Rabbi Epstein keep up the work!
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 7:04pm

here is a amish song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD80GlfguM4
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 6:54pm

Chaim

Its very nice for them to visit us here in crown heights but can we visit them?
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 6:49pm

guest

ive been to amish towns and they say they cant drive in cars although they do some times in order to get to the citi and stuff
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 6:30pm

lolol

they got here via horse & buggy
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 6:23pm

Untitled

WHats up with those funny looking hats they are wearing. What are they made from?
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 5:56pm

lol

how did they get to ch? they cant drive. who is there god? they are frie amish (opposite of frum amish)
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 5:48pm

CH

These guys are sooo kool.
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 5:45pm

a a

This is NOT simpler lifestyles at all. We are allowed to drive and use electricity and they're not allowed so there is a big difference right there
posted by Guest at Tuesday, March-31-2009 5:41pm

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