Friday, February 27, 2015

Live Long and Prosper: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

It was no surprise that the world lost Leonard Nimoy today. He had been very sick for some time. There will no doubt be many reflections written about him in the coming days and some will of course mention the "Live Long and Prosper" hand symbol from Star Trek.

Leonard Nimoy wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and showing the Vulcan salute
Leonard Nimoy wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and showing the Vulcan salute

Playing Spock in both television and movie versions of Star Trek, Nimoy's character used the hand gesture used by kohanim (Jewish priests) for his Vulcan salute. Leonard Nimoy created the Vulcan sign from his childhood memories of the kohen blessing the congregation in synagogue.

The following video by the Yiddish Book Center is a wonderful, in depth perspective of the Jewish life of Leonard Nimoy and he explains the background for the famous Vulcan salute:


Dan Brook said...

Leonard Nimoy, as well as his character Spock, knew that people are more likely to "live long and prosper" if they're veg.

Lynn Chu said...

I am so moved by this phenomenal interview. And I'm not even Jewish. This is a precious slice of Yiddish and American history.

Donna Carol Voss said...

I had no idea he was Jewish, but I think it's so fascinating that he based the vulcan salute on Jewish religious practice. Thanks for sharing that video. Really neat.

Rachel Kapen said...

Great clip by the Center for Yiddish Books, a great center of I am a supporter and subscriber of their delightful publication.
I had the pleasure of seeing Nimoy some years ago as part of ournJewish Book Fair. Nimoy published a book of photographs which was deemed too sexually controversial making. It necessary for the event to move from the JCC to one of the local temple.
יהי זיכרו ברוך- may his memory be for a blessing.