I have received a lot of queries about why I have a “fascination” with the Amish. I gave it some thought and came to realize that it runs so much deeper than a surface fascination.
Whether we feel the Amish are right or not in all of their doctrinal/religious beliefs and in their isolation from mainstream society and it’s comforts, most of us can admit to admiring certain things about their core values. Faith, family, community, service to others, simplicity, humility, hard work, and obedient living for the Creator mark some of the core values of the Amish.
Those core values speak to the very soul, the nephesh within each of us given by our Creator. We were created to worship our Creator in faith, to serve Him and others, to live simply, love mercy, act in humility, and walk in obedience to Him.
There is a sort of satisfaction, a fulfillment I should say, in being more self-sufficient, in watching a tiny seed you tended to sprout and grow into a plant that provides nourishment for your children, eggs you kept warm and dry hatch and grow into chickens that provide eggs and meat for your table, or a calf you cared for grow into a healthy cow that provides sustenance for your family. All the while knowing that the bounty you have harvested came from the very hands of the One who gave you the means and knowledge to obtain it.
There is also something freeing about living simply, about not being weighted down with “stuff” (i.e. material possession). The less “stuff” we have, the less worries and concerns we have about being burdened with their upkeep and care.
No electricity means finding more creative ways to prepare meals and cook and enjoying it at the table more; no worldly distractions such as cell phones, computers and television means no ungodly influence and more time free to spend with family and friends for entertainment and strengthening community ties and more time outside to enjoy HaShem’s creation; no cars means sticking closer to home and community and again strengthening ties and bonds.To quote an Amish writer: “If you admire our faith, strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit, build your own. If you admire the simple life, cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself.”
Blessings for shalom, joy, humility and simplicity, Beth