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July 10, 1987 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-10

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Health News .. .
9 of 10 Back Surgeries Not
"Necessary Nor Effective"

A group of Ethiopian youngsters at a day care facility. Some studies found that the immigrants were made overly dependent
on the authorities.

tion is the continuation in Israel of the
Sigd, a pilgrimage and covenant renewal
festival that is unique to Ethiopian Jews:'
Ben-Dor stresses that it may be possible
for Ethiopians to develop some sort of syn-
thesis between their traditions and nor-
mative Judaism that will facilitate their
adjustment in Israel, but this is a very dif-
ficult undertaking.
A controversial attempt to ease the
religious transition of Ethiopian Jews is
the program of mainstream Orthodox
religious studies organized for about two
dozen kesim, to train them as religious
functionaries, but not rabbis. The idea
behind this program, which is carried out
at Machon Meir in Jerusalem and funded
by Amishav, is to create a group of leaders
for the Ethiopian community who can
draw on their prestige as kesim and their
recognition by the Israeli religious estab-
lishment, in order to serve as cultural
mediators between old and new.
Some see this program as the key to
solving many of the thorny problems of
religious integration for the Ethiopians,
while others see it as wasted effort that will
end up creating a group of figures with lit-
tle influence either among the immigrants
or the Orthodox establishment.
Meanwhile, religious life for the Ethio-
pians is moving in several different direc-
tions. The young people in public schools
or Youth Aliya institutions are receiving
intensive doses of mainstream Orthodoxy.
Their parents, however, are for the most
part unfamiliar with the new, and are
unable to practice the old. The university
students, many of them secular, are in a
religious limbo..
A large group of kesim is being trained

by the Orthodox establishment, while a
smaller group is rebelling against it.
Moreover, at least a dozen Ethiopian im-
migrant associations have sprouted up, all
claiming to speak for the entire communi-
ty and each with its own attitude to
religion. The strongest of these, the Beta
Israel, led the protest against the symbolic
The fact that some of those who work in
the field of immigrant absorption today
suffered themselves 30 years ago was a
bonus for the Ethiopians. These dedicated
workers were determined that. the Ethio-
pians should not have to undergo a similar
Some of the problems in handling the
Ethiopian immigration stemmed from the
secrecy that had to be imposed. This
prevented public exposure and debate of
certain issues — such as the way the ab-
sorption centers were operated — that
could have benefitted from a public airing.
It also prevented the Ethiopians
themselves from using the mass media to
draw attention to their problems. But once
the news blackout was lifted, they proved
quite adept at organizing protest activities
and at using the media to convey their
It took the immigrants of the 1950s
about two decades before they were able to
convey to the broader public some of the
pain and frustration that they had ex-
perienced at that time. The fact that we
heard from the Ethiopians far sooner may
indicate that they will not have to wait as
long as the Middle Eastern immigrants of
the 1950s did to find their rightful place
in their new home. 1:1


Doctor of Chiropractic

The above headline is a quote from Dr. C. N. Shealy, a medical
doctor who is neurosurgeon at the Pain Rehabilitation Center of
the University of Minnesota.
In studying a number of patients at the Center, Dr. Shealy found
that nearly 70% were "repeaters" on lumbar disc surgery. Accor-
ding to the good doctor, if the patients failed to obtain relief from
the first operation, the second and subsequent ones would also prove
Of the 50,000 spinal operations performed in the United States
each year, Dr. Shealy believes that only one in ten can
be justified. He contends that back surgery
should only be used as a last resort after all
other methods have failed.
Doctors of Chiropractic agree. They are not
opposed to all back surgery, just those cases
where surgery is performed before all other
methods have been tried and failed.
Since statistics indicate that a very large
percentage of back problems are due to struc-
tural or mechanical defects of the spine, these
cases may respond favorably to Chiropractic.
The Doctor of Chiropractic is a specialist in
problems of the spine, nerves and muscles.
Why are there so many problems with the
low back?
The lower spine is constructed in such a way as to allow freedom
of movement in twisting, bending, etc. Yet this very structure ac-
counts for many of the problems.
As an example, note that the spine in the low back is supported
and protected only by muscles, ligaments and discs while the areas
above and below the lower spine are supported and protected by
the rib cage and pelvis.
Back surgery is a very significant attempt to solve a back pro-
blem. No matter whether it succeeds or fails, scar tissue will -re-
main and the muscle structure will have been weakened. If the spine
is fused in one area its movement is restricted and the remaining
vertebrae must work even harder than before.
While there are cases where back surgery may be necessary,
it should be employed only as a last resort. Chiropractic has achieved
success with structural and mechanical defects of the spine that
would indicate that it should be a first resort for such problems.

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