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Amish vs. Jewish: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 7, 2024
The Amish are a Christian group known for simple living and reluctance to adopt modern conveniences, while Jewish refers to people practicing Judaism, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion.

Key Differences

The Amish are a distinct group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships, primarily known for their simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The term "Jewish," on the other hand, refers to individuals who practice Judaism, a monotheistic religion that is one of the oldest in the world, centered on the beliefs and practices outlined in the Torah, which is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible.
Originating in the late 17th century, the Amish community is an offshoot of the Mennonite churches, and they are known for their separation from mainstream society to preserve their religious values. In contrast, Jewish communities are integrated into various societies around the world and are defined more by their religious beliefs and cultural practices than by a distinct lifestyle separate from the surrounding society.
The Amish are primarily known for their rural way of life, often engaging in farming and other manual labor, adhering to a set of rules known as the Ordnung that varies between communities. Jewish life, conversely, is characterized by a wide range of religious observances and cultural practices, with significant variation between different Jewish denominations like Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism.
The Amish use a dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch (or Pennsylvania German), a language derived from German, in their daily life, and English for interaction with outsiders. The Jewish people, however, are associated with Hebrew, the traditional language of Jewish people and the liturgical language of Judaism, and Yiddish, especially among Ashkenazi Jews, along with the languages of the countries they reside in.
In terms of religious texts, the Amish primarily use the Bible as their sacred text. Jewish people, on the other hand, consider the Torah as their central reference, along with other important texts like the Talmud, which contains rabbinical discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history.

Comparison Chart

Religious Belief

Christian, with a focus on simplicity and separation from modern society
Judaism, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion

Cultural Practices

Simple living, plain dress, manual labor
Diverse practices varying across denominations

Integration in Society

Separation from mainstream society
Integrated in various societies globally


Pennsylvania Dutch, English
Hebrew, Yiddish, and languages of their resident countries

Sacred Texts

Torah, Talmud, and other Jewish texts

Amish and Jewish Definitions


The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christian communities.
The Amish community is known for its horse-drawn buggies.


Jewish communities are diverse, with varied cultural practices.
Jewish cuisine varies greatly among different communities.


Amish communities are known for their rural, agricultural lifestyle.
Many Amish families sustain themselves through farming.


Hebrew and Yiddish are languages historically associated with Jewish people.
Hebrew is used in Jewish religious services.


Amish people are characterized by simple living and plain dressing.
Amish clothing is often homemade and lacks ornamentation.


Jewish refers to the people and culture associated with Judaism.
Jewish traditions have been passed down through generations.


The Amish adhere to the Ordnung, a set of community-specific rules.
Each Amish community has its own version of the Ordnung.


Jewish religious practices are based on the teachings of the Torah.
Observing the Sabbath is a central aspect of Jewish religious life.


The Amish avoid the use of modern technology and conveniences.
Amish households do not use electricity from the public power grid.


Jewish identity can be both religious and ethnic.
Jewish festivals celebrate both religious and cultural heritage.


An orthodox Anabaptist sect that separated from the Mennonites in the late 17th century and exists today primarily in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.


Of or relating to the Jews or their culture or religion.


Of or relating to this sect or its members.


Of or pertaining to the Jews or Hebrews; characteristic of or resembling the Jews or their customs; Israelitish.


The Amish Mennonites.


Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Judaism.


Of, pertaining to, or designating, the followers of Jacob Amman, a strict Mennonite of the 17th century, who even proscribed the use of buttons and shaving as "worldly conformity". There are several branches of Amish Mennonites in the United States. A branch having particularly strict adherence to the Amish principles are called Old Order Amish


Of or relating to Jews or their culture or religion;
He is Jewish
A Jewish wedding


An American follower of the Mennonite religion


Do the Amish use modern technology?

The Amish generally avoid modern technology to maintain their simple lifestyle.

What is the significance of the Torah in Judaism?

The Torah is the central reference of the Jewish religion and law.

What is the primary religion of the Amish?

The Amish adhere to a traditionalist Christian faith.

Are there different denominations within Judaism?

Yes, there are various denominations in Judaism, including Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform.

What is Judaism?

Judaism is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion centered on the teachings of the Torah.

Where are Amish communities predominantly located?

Amish communities are primarily found in the United States and Canada.

What languages are spoken by Jewish people?

Jewish people historically speak Hebrew and Yiddish, along with the languages of their resident countries.

Do the Amish live in isolated communities?

Amish people often live in rural communities somewhat isolated from mainstream society.

Do Amish people receive formal education?

Amish children typically attend school until the 8th grade in schools run by the Amish community.

What is the Ordnung in Amish culture?

The Ordnung is a set of rules guiding lifestyle and behavior in Amish communities.

How do Amish communities sustain themselves?

Many Amish communities sustain themselves through agriculture and craftsmanship.

What is the Jewish Sabbath?

The Jewish Sabbath, or Shabbat, is a day of rest and worship observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

How is Jewish identity determined?

Jewish identity can be religious, based on the practice of Judaism, or ethnic, relating to the Jewish people and culture.

What is the Jewish Talmud?

The Talmud is a central text in Judaism, containing rabbinical discussions and interpretations of the Torah.

What role does farming play in Amish life?

Farming is a significant part of Amish life, providing sustenance and a means of living in accordance with their values.

Are Amish communities self-sufficient?

Many Amish communities aim for self-sufficiency, relying on their own manual labor and resources.

How do Jewish dietary laws work?

Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut, include restrictions and guidelines on what can be eaten and how food should be prepared.

What are some major Jewish holidays?

Major Jewish holidays include Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah.

What type of clothing do Amish people wear?

Amish people wear plain, modest clothing, often homemade.

What is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Jewish tradition?

A Bar (for boys) or Bat (for girls) Mitzvah is a Jewish coming-of-age ceremony signifying religious adulthood.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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