Although it has been documented and is well known amongst various Jews and Mennonites, Menno Simons (the father of the Mennonites) was a Jew who accepted Yeshua as the messiah. Many Mennonites do not celebrate Christmas or other former pagan days due to this heritage. However, not all Mennonites stem from Jewish ancestry, but some do. The Mennonite faith was developed with an emphasis on holiness, community, and pacifism, and many joined due to its beliefs and not its bloodline during the turbulent One Hundred Years Wars between the Catholics and Lutherans which decimated a third of the Holy Roman Empire’s population.
Let us look at the similarities between the Hasidic Jews and the Amish.
Admittedly, a lot of Mennonite and Amish surnames are exactly the same as some German Jewish surnames, but this is not much evidence. However, after reading The Chosen many other thoughts are coming to mind with more and more similarities becoming apparent.
First, the Amish are very similar to the Hasid. They are both fundamentalists, strict in their observance of separating themselves from the secular world (including their clothing), and practice white magic. Seems odd doesn’t it? Let’s get a little more picky.
Both excommunicate and shun any members who stray from strict observance of their rules and traditions.
Both speak in an older German language (Yiddish and Pennsylvania Dutch) which many have said that the Amish and Yiddish speakers can understand each other easily.
Both moved to areas in Europe and Russia when heavily persecuted. Mennonites were lynched by Roman Catholics and Lutherans for refusing to baptize their children at birth, thinking the child should be old enough to make a decision for themself on whether or not to pledge their belief systems.
Both practice white magic. To the left is a Amish hex symbol. When traveling through Amish lands, look at their barns and you see many white magic and hex symbols warding of evil spirits or anything unclean. To the right is a Hasid star.
Makes you go hmmmm.
Furthermore, German princes offered protection to Mennonites for their great farming abilities and to Jews for their great monetary abilities.
Both were invited to settle in the Ukraine and both were slaughtered during and after the Bolshevik Revolution, some staying but most fleeing who survived. The Mennonites broke into two groups while in Russia, one turning more charismatic while the other refusing any charismatic tendencies. Some of the Russian Mennonites became known as Hutterites when they moved to the Americas.
It would seem probable that the same Germanic princes would extend welcome to Jews and Mennonites, perhaps bringing the two heavily persecuted branches within a type of friendship. Mennonites rarely marry outside the Mennonite realm and Jews do the same, so maybe that is where the connection ends.
Another point to consider are the Waldenisians who were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to believe the Pope was the head of the church, the eucharist, and many other Catholic beliefs. It is believed that they were Jews Of The Way (Jews who believed Yeshua was the Messiah). Supposedly, they had originated in Israel, had been expelled by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem, and then had fled up into and, some, over the Alps for safety from persecution. The term “Anabaptist” had originated with them a thousand years before the Protestant Reformation.
One interesting note is that the Jews and Waldenesians were being massacred throughout Germania during the same time and within a couple centuries. Hans Denck (a Mennonite) arrived in Strausburg and began working with the Hebrew scholar Ludwig Haetzer. Together they translated the Hebrew Prophets into German. During this work, several rabbis from the town’s Jewish neighborhood began helping them.
It wasn’t long before Jacob Kautz, one of Denck’s followers, posted 7 Anabaptist theses on the Strasbourg Church doors – ticking off both Catholics and Lutherans. One of these theses from Kautz is very Messianic sounding. It lays that there is a payment for atonement for sins by Christ’s sacrifice. That a person’s daily life should be righteous and obedient to all commands in the Bible – very anti-Luther (who threw out works). We still see this struggle today. Christians who simply mutter words asking for forgiveness and go on sinning to their heart’s content. Grace – the license to sin. Opposed to those who strive to be holy, unselfish, longsuffering and forgiving.
Anyway, I’ll have to look more into this later, but it does make one go hmmmm.