As you all have heard by now, Leonard Nimoy, the beloved Vulcan of Star Trek, passed away, may he rest in peace. What you may not know is that the famous hand signal or salute he frequently used in his character as Mr. Spock is of Jewish origin.
Spock may have been half-human and half-Vulcan, but Leonard Nimoy was all Jew. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, and they raised him in the Orthodox tradition — and that meant regular visits to his local synagogue in the Boston area.
When he was a boy, he had a particularly profound experience during one such visit: At a point in the service when he was supposed to cover his eyes, he peeked out and saw some men performing a prayer that included a hand gesture that is familiar to geeks everywhere as the Vulcan Salute.
A few years ago, Nimoy recounted the whole story to the Wexler Oral History project, and it’s well worth a watch.
We’re saying a mourner’s kaddish for you, Leonard.
And now for the kicker and this should give you a chuckle….
For any non-Trekkies here, the lady posing with O is Nichelle (not a typo) Nichols and she played the character Uhura, the communications officer aboard the starship Enterprise.
Being the most anti-Israel president in our history, had O known the Jewish history behind that hand signal, you know there’s no way he would have ever used it. Too bad Scotty couldn’t beam this Klingon up to another planet.