Can't beat Amish craftsmanship!

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An advert features an electric space heater made by hard-working Amish.
"But despite what the ad implies, these are not made by the Amish: They're made in China. If you read the ad carefully, you realize that only the wood mantle is made by Amish craftsmen. Amish have nothing to do with the fireplace itself. "
http://www.wcpo.com/content/news/localshows/dontwasteyourmoney/story/Amish-Fireplace-Ad-Will-these-lower-your-heating/L3YHiZwE-UOwQiHRZ5ZFIg.cspx
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What I find a little more sneaky is the fact that the heater is free. You just pay for the wood case. That way when the heater craps out and you inquire about a refund you get nothing because it was free.
G.S.
wrote:

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HeyBub wrote:

http://www.wcpo.com/content/news/localshows/dontwasteyourmoney/story/Amish-Fireplace-Ad-Will-these-lower-your-heating/L3YHiZwE-UOwQiHRZ5ZFIg.cspx

Well, obviously... the heater is electric. What would Amish know about electric heaters?
That said, there is a store near me that sells Amish-made furniture; I'm tempted to buy some because it looks pretty close to what I would make myself should I have the time/tools/motivation to do so. Visiting there and then a well known general furniture store immediately afterwards confirmed that sometimes, yes, you do get what you pay for (and paying 2x the price to get better quality is not always that bad a deal.)
nate
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replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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wrote:

Lets clear up one common misunderstanding. Amish DO use electricity. They just dont connect to the power grid (electric company). They use gasoline powered generators, car batteries, and other sources to create their own electricity. I know this because I have Amish neighbors and I am friendly with them. I know one Amishman who runs an entire dairy milking operation, complete with power milking vacuum system, refrigerated bulk tank, and even has a 12 volt lighting system in the barn. The entire system is powererd by a 14HP Briggs garden tractor engine. The guy built all of it himself. The engine connects to a slip belt clutch, then to a car generator and 12V car battery, which runs all the lights and fans and the bulk tank paddle that stirs the milk. The same engine has another lever to activate a car air conditioning compressor, which cools the bulk tank, and on one occasion he froze the milk by accident. Then the same engine powers the vacuum pump for doing the milking. The guy built this all from junk car parts and scrap metal, and it's pretty amazing how it all works and works well. He also runs power tools using an inverter, and has a CB radio connected to the battery to talk to other Amish neighbors.
They dont connect to the power grid, but they are very ingenious and do use electricity. As far as practicallity, while it does all work, and works well, the guy spends more per month on gasoline than it would cost to have electricity from the electric company, or at least he was when gasoline was around $4 a gallon.
Now this came guy is working on a generator system for his horse drawn buggy. By law they are required to have headlights and taillights on public roads. Their batteries get weak on long trips, so he's designing a generator that is powered from the wheels to recharge the battery. He also has a CB radio in his buggy.
Another guy has a complete sawmill setup, which is more like a modern factory than just a backyard mill. The whole thing is run with two diesel semi truck engines. There are two buildings. One saws the logs into boards. The other building planes and finishes the lumber. Each building has it's own engine, and a series of belts and pulleys that run each machine.
I find them pretty amazing and very intelligent people, even if they are different. Like the guy with the powered barn. He has lights in the barn, but is not allowed to use them in the house. The house uses coleman lanterns and oil lamps, and they heat their hot water outside in a homemade wood fired heater, and have to carry the water indoors with pails. Yet this same guy is allowed to have a modern propane water heater in the barn, but not in the house.
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Robert wrote:

It's okay to fool God.
Consider the observant Jew's understanding that flipping an electric switch is akin to starting a fire and starting a fire is prohibited on the Sabbath. So, what's an observant Jew in Israel do if he lives on the 27th floor of a high-rise and wants to attend the synagogue on the Sabbath? Walk down (then back up) 27 flights of stairs? Don't buy an apartment that high up?
No, there's the "Sabbath Switch." On Friday afternoon, somebody flips the switch. Thereafter, the elevator cycles continually, stopping on every floor. The apartment dweller merely waits patiently and eventually the elevator will arrive and carry him to the lobby.
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Having grown up (physically) in NYC, and having many, many friends and relatives that lived in apartment buildings, I can truthfully say that I have never heard of a "Sabbath Switch". I also don't ever recall having an elevator stop on every floor, every Saturday.
Maybe there were never any Jews in these buildings? I think not.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Your part of Harlem may not have had many Orthodox Jews.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Many cooking stoves also have a Sabbath mode. It is OK to adjust the temperature, but not to start the fire.
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Now this I have heard off, although it was never called Sabbath mode when I was growing up.
I knew of families that would turn on the oven to a very low temp before sundown on Friday night so they could use the oven on Saturday. Same went for keeping a pot of water simmering on the stovetop so they could use a flame. I knew of other habits, such as night lights in dark basements, etc.
However, I have never of a Sabbath mode for elevators in high-rises. Granted, I could be wrong, I just never heard of it in NYC.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

A teaching moment...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbath_elevator
The operative rule is that an observant Jew is permitted to take advantage of a process that began before the Sabbath. Heck, all one's food was GROWING on some prior Sabbath!
Some people think it's a CHORE to pre-tear the toilet paper, but not really. The paper's got to be torn eventually...
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Thanks...like I said I could be wrong and obviously I was - sort of anyway.
Some of the areas of NYC where I hung out (Forest Hills comes to mind) had large Jewish populations and lots of tall apartment buildings. I don't recall seeing elevator control panels like the one shown in the Wiki page. In fact, I just called my wife, who grew up in an apartment building in Forest Hills and she never heard of them either. I then called my sister-in-law - a Jew (non-orthdox) living on Long Island and working in Manhatten and she has never seen one either. She knew all about families that had "goys" who would turn on lights and stoves at agreed upon times for the Jews and other "automatic" mechanisms like I mentioned before, but she has never heard of nor seen a Sabbath elevator. But obviously, they exist.
She also mentioned, just like they say in the Wiki article, that it all depends on your level of observance. Some Jews feel that using things like goys to turn on a light or riding in a Sabbath elevator would be bending the rules too far, while others think it is fine.
In any case, it can make for an interesting discussion.
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She also mentioned, just like they say in the Wiki article, that it all depends on your level of observance. Some Jews feel that using things like goys to turn on a light or riding in a Sabbath elevator would be bending the rules too far, while others think it is fine.
In any case, it can make for an interesting discussion.
*********************************************************
Honey, I'm hungry. Can you call Rent-A-Goy to turn on the stove?
When I was in high school I worked in a grocery store owned by a Jewish couple. A few times we were asked to do certain things at the time of the Holidays, but it was minimal. Their level of observance was low.
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The local Rent-A-Goy dealership had better be close by 'cuz she wouldn't be allow to "call" them on the phone. The best she could do was holler out the window.
"Oh, Goy...Could you come here a minute, bubbala? My husband is making such a tzimmis about his dinner."
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On 12/31/2008 9:17 AM Robert spake thus:

What an odd set of strictures these people saddle themselves with: it's OK to use a gasoline engine to power a diary operation (though not inside lights), but not OK to use that same engine to power their buggies. WTF??!?
Yet another illustration of how useless and ridiculous religion is.
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Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

To you, maybe. But have you ever know a crossword-puzzle devotee?
If so, you known they're not satisfied with the one in TV Guide - they want the Sunday New York Times puzzle! Then they try to fill it out in Latin!
So it is with the observant Jew or the devout of any religion; these people get a deep satisfaction out of doing, to the best of their ability, what they think God wants them to do. To them, their actions are not burdens, they are a sense of joy and satisfaction. It's the difference between building a bit of furniture from particle board or crafting that same furniture out of Teak.
Sometimes just asking the question is enlightening. Here's an example.
The Bible tells the Jews there are seven birds that shall not be eaten, but is silent on those permitted. The rabbis tried to figure out, by extension, what birds were kosher and what were not by trying to discover a common characteristic of the prohibited ones. Some on the list had two toes forward and two toes back - but not all. Some on the list were carrion eaters - but not all. Finally the rabbis just gave up and decided those birds traditionally used in the Temple were permitted: Quail, pigeons, chickens, etc.
For a thousand years, every Jew on the planet knew what birds were ritually edible and which were not.
Columbus set sail for the New World the day after the Jews were officially expelled from Spain. Columbus's chief navigator was, himself, Jewish, as were some members of the crews. Point is, Jews were early in the New World.
What did they find?
Turkeys*.
Is a turkey more like a chicken or more like a buzzard? Letters went back and forth between the Jewish settlers of the New World and the Sages of the generation in the Old World. It was finally decided, after much debate, that an observant Jew may gobble a turkey.
Another couple of hundred years go by.
Penguins.
The question on penguins is still open.
To some, this debate is borderline silly. But the intellectual horsepower involved focuses the mind and hones the logical skills. So much so that the Jews - comprising less than 1% of the world's population - have earned almost a quarter of the Nobel Prizes.
-------- * The Hebrew word for "peacock" is "tukki" (think tail display).
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2008 12:14:28 -0800, David Nebenzahl

In some ways I agree with you, but because I am good friends with them, and they are nice people, I have asked them outright why they do some of these things.
As far as electricity, they are not allowed to be connected to the grid. They are meant to survive without being connected to the outside world. Well, I explained to them that using gasoline connects them to the outside world because they cant make their own. The answer I got was that it's just the rules, and if they could not get gas, they would make a wood powered steam engine.
They CAN use more modern stuff for business, but NOT for personal use.
Here's some more facts that are bizarre.
They can drive a tractor, but not a car or truck. They can not OWN the tractor, except for a few select members, who are then made to do all the tractor work, snow plowing, etc for the whole community.
They can have a phone, as long as it's outside the home (usually in a small 4 foot square shack), but Amish businesses can have it in their barn or work building with special permission.
If they rent a house and it has electricity, they can use it, but it must be used minimally.
To get water out of their well, they can use either a windmill, or a gas powered air compressor, which pumps air into a 500 or 1000 gallon propane tank. That air pushes water up the well pipes, and lasts for hours with the large air tank.
When they build a new house, they use common lumberyard materials including foam and fiberglass insulation. They install wiring cables in most of the houses, for resale value, but the boxes are not installed. There is a map showing the location of the wires.
They do use banks and get loans, and I know several of them went to deep in debt and had to foreclose their farm.
They do not use the local police for any internal problems (with other amish), but will contact the police if non amish people try to harm them. However they generally avoid courts.
They do use doctors and hospitals for themselves, but for their animals they have their own Amish vet, who is not a college educated or licensed vet.
They can use a gas powered rotatiller for theier lawn or pasture, but not for their food garden. For some reason it will affect their food (a religion thing). The garden must be tilled by human or animal power.
They can ride in anyone's car, but can not own a car or drive one.
Yes, a lot of this dont make much sense and I agree...... Every community has a little different rules too. The ones in my area are much less strict than soem others. Yet some others (but few) allow driving cars, but not ownership.
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On 1/1/2009 5:22 AM Robert spake thus:

[snip]
I'm sure that they are "nice people", who furthermore carry on traditions of making useful and beautiful things in the old ways.
But look at the Shakers, who had many of the same practices (some even more extreme), and gave us a rich repertoire of furniture and furnishing designs, but who eventually self-extinguished because of their meshuggah ideas about sexuality, procreation, etc. No new Shakers = extinction. I guess that either never occurred to them, or if it did they decided it didn't matter.
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powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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On Thu, 01 Jan 2009 12:37:15 -0800, David Nebenzahl

I'm dont know much about the Shakers, but I will say that the Amish do their share of reproducing, where most families have at least 5 kids, and often more. I heard of one family that had 17 kids. The problem is there is a lot of inbreeding, and they have a higher percentage of birth defects than average.
Yes, they do refer to anyone who is not Amish as English. This is in reference to our English language. I'm not sure what they would call someone that speaks Spanish or French, but I'd guess they still call them English. The thing is that they speak english most of the time themselves, but when a bunch of Amish guys get together, then they speak their own language, which is a form of German, but not the common German language.
I once went over to one of their farms and they were having an Amish business meeting out in the barn. One of the guys was going to help me do something, and I had to wait until they finished their meeting. Ten minutes later, I was standing there and did not understand a single word of what they were saying, and I felt pretty uncomfortable. I excused myself and told them I was going to go out and pet their horses. The guy who was supposed to help me, said (in English), We'll be done in about a half hour or so, there's a bag of horse treats in the small shed if you want to treat them....... Then they went back to speaking their own language and I went out by the horses. (I understood the horses better, and the horses enjoyed the treats) :)
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On 1/1/2009 5:22 AM Robert spake thus:

Which, as all of us who have seen the movie "Witness" know, they refer to as "English" (for "foreigners").
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On Fri, 6 Feb 2009 07:30:57 -0800 (PST), Pat

My father was a dentist in western Pa for 40 years, and he said that his Amish patients *always* paid. There are actually quite a few Amish there, and this was in the days when no one had dental insurance, and people often didn't pay doctors or dentists because they would continue to treat you anyhow.
My uncle was, I think, quite wealthy or at least well-to-do, when he lived in Harrisburg, on Front St. right across the street from the Susquehanna River, the nicest neighborhood in town. When the river overflowed one year, water filled the basement and went up to 1 or 2 feet on the first floor. A team of Amish showed up and 3 men worked two days to get all the wet ruined stuff out of the basement, while 2 Amish women worked for the same two days cleaning the first floor. My uncle said they wouldn't take any money and he was a generous guy and I'm sure he offered a lot. Other groups worked in the other flooded homes, every home on Front St. and I think the block farther from the river.
AIUI, Mennonites do the same thing.
I don't know how anyone could be fleeced in Lancaster. The prices are posted. Is entertainment too expensive? Yes, everywhere. But tourists are ready to pay.
The practice of shunning seems very harsh. I wouldn't like it either. I would hate it if it directly affected me. I'm not Amish or Mennonite and there is nothing I could have done that would have caused my parents to shun me. (Well, maybe if I murdered my brother and one parent, but short of that, nothing.)
I wouldn't assume there are any real Amish involved in the that heater/cabinet advertising. Maybe one or two. I woudln't assume the Amish looking men in the commercial are really Amish.
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