Wednesday 13 December 2017

Live Long and Prosper: Nimoy on the Jewish story behind the Vulcan salute

Leonard Nimoy, pictured in 2013, has died aged 83 (AP)
Leonard Nimoy, pictured in 2013, has died aged 83 (AP) News Desk

He lived long and he prospered but for as varied and as interesting as Leonard Nimoy's career was, he is likely to always be remembered for Mr Spock's iconic 'Vulcan salute'.

What might come as a surprised though to most people, is that the other-worldly gesture has its roots firmly planted right here on Earth.

It is actually based on a Jewish blessing performed by Cohens - believed to be the descendent of biblical priests - in a process called dukhanening.

The hand shape is used to symbolise the Hebrew word shin which stands for Shaddai, meaning god.

For the majority of Jews living outside of Israel, dukhanening is only performed on high holy days although some perform it more regularly.

In this video, the late actor explains how he decided to use the gesture for his Star Trek character while looking for a “special greeting” that only Vulcans could use.

Independent News Service

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