Shalom Life | August 05, 2015

Spock's Iconic "Live Long and Prosper" Hand Gesture is Originally a Jewish Sign

Spock's Leonard Nimoy incorporated several Jewish traditions to his Vulcan character

By: Daven Hiskey

Published: June 2nd, 2012 in Culture » TV » News

Spock's Iconic "Live Long and Prosper" Hand Gesture is Originally a Jewish Sign

Most know that Star Trek’s Spock was played by follow tribe member Leonard Nimoy, but did you know that the iconic “live long and prosper” hand gesture was originally a Jewish sign?

The hand gesture is a slight modification of the gesture still used today by orthodox Jews of the Kohanim, priests descended from Ahron by the patrilineal line. The hand gesture forms the letter “Shin”, which represents the name “Shaddai” meaning “Almighty” (God).

The Kohanim use the Shin gesture during a blessing ceremony, the nesiat kapayim or the “Priestly Blessing”, that accompanies the prayer service. The actual Jewish blessing is done with both hands, not just one, extended outward.

This modified gesture used by Star Trek’s Vulcan’s was originally Nimoy’s idea. Though Nimoy is not an orthodox Jew himself, when he was a child, his grandfather would take him to the synagogue. During his time there, he observed this blessing and subsequent gesture and, according to his autobiography, was very impressed by the ceremony; remembering it later while filming “Amok Time”, which is the first place the now iconic gesture appeared in Star Trek.

In “Amok Time”, Spock was originally supposed to kneel before the Vulcan matriarch, with the matriarch placing her hands on his shoulders in a knighting type gesture. Nimoy didn’t like this as Vulcan’s were touch telepaths. Thus, he felt this original gesture would be an invasion of privacy for a Vulcan. He then drew on his Jewish roots to come up with an alternate gesture.

The hand gesture itself wasn’t the only part that was borrowed from Jewish tradition. The “live long and prosper” and the lesser known Vulcan traditional response of “peace and long life” was based on the Jewish “Shalom Aleichem” (peace be upon you) and the traditional reply of “Aleichem Shalom” (upon you be peace).

Portions of this article were taken from Todayifoundout.com

WATCH: Amy Schumer Talks Jennifer Lawrence, Trainwreck with Jon Stewart WATCH: Amy Schumer Talks Jennifer Lawrence, Trainwreck with Jon Stewart TrendingReports: Kanye West is Performing in Israel Reports: Kanye West is Performing in Israel TrendingJason Segel Opens Up About Growing Jewish (and Christian) Jason Segel Opens Up About Growing Jewish (and Christian) Trending
 

Jews Still Face Anti-Semitism at Maccabi Games in Berlin

August 04, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Jews Still Face Anti-Semitism at Maccabi Games in Berlin

Though many feel vindicated at Jewish Olympics being held in Germany, many athletes still face anti-Semitism

Read More

Anti-Semitic Twitter Troll Ordered to Pay Compensation

August 04, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Anti-Semitic Twitter Troll Ordered to Pay Compensation

Court orders 17-year-old to pay British-Jewish businessman Lord Alan Sugar

Read More

Israeli Device Lets You Make 3D Artistic Designs on Your Cappuccinos

August 04, 2015 | By Roseanne Tabachnik, NoCamels
Israeli Device Lets You Make 3D Artistic Designs on Your Cappuccinos

The Ripple Maker is bringing latte art to a whole new level

Read More

Women Banned from Owning Smartphones at Hasidic School

August 04, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Women Banned from Owning Smartphones at Hasidic School

Mothers and daughters alike will be expected to abide by the school's new policy

Read More

Pharrell Williams to be Protested by BDS Activists in South Africa

August 04, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Pharrell Williams to be Protested by BDS Activists in South Africa

Activists targeting the superstar over promotional deal with retailer Woolworths, which has trade ties with Israel

Read More

Everything You Need to Know About Drake's OVO Festival

August 04, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
Everything You Need to Know About Drake's OVO Festival

The Toronto rapper has been making non-stop media headlines as of late

Read More

WATCH: Amy Schumer Talks Jennifer Lawrence, Trainwreck with Jon Stewart

August 04, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
WATCH: Amy Schumer Talks Jennifer Lawrence, Trainwreck with Jon Stewart

Schumer appears in the final days of The Daily Show with Stewart as host

Read More

Israel Wins 61 Medals in Special Olympics

August 03, 2015 | By Avraham Teshuva, Lea Schneider
Israel Wins 61 Medals in Special Olympics

Of the medals won in Los Angeles, 25 are gold, 18 silver and 18 bronze

Read More

More Headlines