The Long Way Home


A Week of Work, A Day of Rest
November 21, 2010, 2:20 PM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: ,

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Lancaster County was a refuge for persecuted religious communities. In addition to the better-known  Amish, the Mystic Order of the Solitary — a sect of Seventh Day Dunker – set up house in the Ephrata Cloister. Members pledged celibacy, eating one vegetarian meal a day and functioning on only six hours of sleep. It’s amazing they even got that much since part of their commitment to asceticism was sleeping on a hard bench with a wooden pillow. As the community lost members and eventually died away, Ephrata town became a resort area. The cloister is now a museum with most of the original buildings, each one like walking into a Dutch interior painting.

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