Jerusalem – Representatives of the Amish community from the United States and Switzerland paid a visit to the Western Wall on Saturday night, during which they asked the forgiveness of the Jewish people over their group’s silence during the Nazi’s extermination of Jews during the Holocaust.
Part of what made the visit so special is the fact that Amish, a split-off from the Mennonite Church who largely reject modern technology, do not normally use contemporary transportation forms such as the aircraft on which they made the journey to the Holy Land.
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.
Rabinovitz 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.
The delegation left Israel on Sunday.