Chassidish, Heimish, Amish!
Today was a particularly fascinating day at the Biblical Museum of Natural History. Over the course of the day, we had 120 impeccably behaved chassidishe kids, some heimishe families... and an Amish family!
I did a double-take when I saw them. My first thought was, How did they get to Israel? On a horse-drawn airplane? But then I realized that this was a naive question. There are all kinds of Amish people, just as there all kinds of Orthodox Jews. There are Jews who consider themselves Orthodox but disregard Torah principles regarding sexual behavior, and there are Jews who consider themselves Orthodox but disregard Torah principles regarding the ideal of self-sufficiency.
This lovely Amish family, from Iowa, was clearly Modern Orthodox Amish (or perhaps even Open Orthodox). They had a Nikon SLR camera, although I couldn't tell if it was digital or film. The husband was indistinguishable from any other American, except that he was speaking Pennsylvania Dutch to his family. The wife and daughters, though, had the "look" - bonnets and long-sleeved long dresses of a single color. It occurred to me that Amish tzniyus makes much more sense than contemporary Orthodox Jewish tzniyus.
It was a real pleasure to meet this family (and it was a treat for the other people on the tour, too). However, I am not posting a photo of them; I wouldn't want any Cross-Currents writers to start a heresy-hunt against them!