“[Spock] only does it on the show with the one hand, but the Kohanim, when they do the blessing, take the two hands, connect the thumbs to make the Hebrew letter Shin.” Shin is the first letter of Shaddai, one of the names given to G-d in the Torah. [Leonard Nimoy’s final public words: ‘Live long and prosper’], At the beginning of the interview, Nimoy talked about his childhood in Yiddish. It came to a wider public in the Star Trek TV series, where it was used there by the character Mr. Spock (actor … When the Kohanim perform the blessing and show the salute, the congregation is meant to turn away. One of the popular ones, especially with the geekier among us, is the “Live long and prosper” gesture made famous by the actor Leonard Nimoy on the original Star Trek series. “Toward the end of his life, he called for increased efforts to teach Yiddish to a new generation,” Aaron Lansky, the center’s president, added in an email. I chatted with Rabbi Morrison of Beth Emeth Synagogue in Toronto, Ontario, an expert on both Judaism and “nerd TV culture,” who told me more about the origin of the salute. Here are just a few: Celia Lovsky, who played T’Pau, the Vulcan Minister, was unable to do the sign on her own and had her fingers taped together for production. Though Nimoy could flash the sign with ease, not every Vulcan could. They are notable for their commitment to logic and reasoning, and for being one of the founding members of the United Federation of Planets. A segment from the Adam Nimoy film "For The Love Of Spock" (2016). Nimoy, who died on Friday, spoke about the Jewish roots of the famous gesture for an oral history project documenting the lives of Yiddish speakers, of which Nimoy is one. A common Vulcan saying. Though most of us immediately recognize the salute as the Vulcan greeting, its true origin comes directly from the Torah. Live long and prosper. The prayer, meant to bless the congregation, is named after the feminine aspect of God, Nimoy explained in a 2012 post on the “Star Trek” site. The Biblical Origins of ‘Live Long and Proper’ It really not so strange that this saying would have its origin in a Jewish blessing since this adage is found throughout the Bible in numerous locations in the Hebrew scriptures and in the later Christian New Testament. The (lesser known) response is "Peace and long life." “Live Long and Prosper.” These words are immediately recognized and associated with Star Trek and its fandom, and the Vulcan salute is an even more recognizable extension of that phrase. “When the Kohanim do the priestly blessing, they take their two hands and bring the thumbs together and it’s like the ‘Live Long and Prosper’ sign.” But, Rabbi Morrison continued, the version in the blessing differs slightly. From our Obsession. It … Review our, Leonard Nimoy’s final public words: ‘Live long and prosper’, Leonard Nimoy’s struggle with being Spock. This “Vulcan salute, ” as it has come to be called, was invented on the set by Leonard Nimoy during the filming of the second-season opener, “Amok Time.” “Live long and prosper.” These words, along with the Vulcan salute, are immediately recognized and associated with Star Trek, which is celebrating the 53rd anniversary of its first episode this month. The email will only be created once you click on the "Send Email" button. Although Nimoy never hid his upbringing from the world, my short experience there is why Nimoy’s work to preserve the language of his childhood came to mind today. 'Live long and prosper' from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma” As part of the Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project, Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal used by Spock, his character in the Star Trek series Their origins do not emanate from the vast final frontier, however, but rather from Leonard Nimoy’s Jewish heritage. Historically, this was done daily in the Beit HaMikdash, the Holy Temple, when it stood in Jerusalem. I thought that it was pretty cool that later in his life, Nimoy had given several interviews where he explained his Jewish heritage and how the Hebrew origins of the Vulcan hand signal. Leonard Nimoy first saw what became the famous Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper,” as a child, long before “Star Trek” even existed. I reached out to the Center, which explained that Nimoy started recording Jewish short stories, from Eastern Europe, in 1995, for a radio show hosted by the Center. After considering the the greetings people have across cultures, Nimoy thought the Vulcans should have their own. Lindsay Traves (She/Her) is a writer based in Toronto where she lives with her dog, Spock. Live Long and Prosper is a now-famous hand gesture performed when two Vulcan characters either greet one another or take their leave. The salute’s origin, however, doesn’t come out of the vast final frontier, but instead from Leonard Nimoy’s Jewish heritage. The phrase "Live long and prosper" is accompanied by this formal hand gesture. Nimoy’s incorporation of the blessing  speaks particularly poignantly about the permeable boundaries between Spock and Nimoy himself. Fair Use Notice. Live Long and Prosper. The Origin of Star Trek’s Live Long and Prosper Greeting. What is interesting is how the Vulcan hand sign came to be. An email will not be created automatically. ), The hand sign is done during the performance of the blessing by the Kohanim who stand at the front of the sanctuary and bless the congregation. “My first language was English,” Nimoy told the interviewer in Yiddish, “but I needed to speak Yiddish with my grandparents.”. He “never dreamed” he would one day make the gesture so publicly and repeatedly as an adult. When parties took their leave of each other, one party could use the phrase \"Peace and long life\" and would receive \"Live long and prosper\" as a reply. —  the Bemidbar, Chapter 6, verses 22-27, Though Jewish fans of Star Trek might be thrilled by the addition of something so deep in our culture, many of us have never seen the hand sign used in religious practice. “This is the shape of the letter shin,” Nimoy said in the 2013 interview, making the famous “V” gesture. After witnessing the ritual all those years ago, Nimoy practiced making the “V” with his fingers as a child. Vulcans are a sapient humanoid race native to planet Vulcan. Live Long and Prosper Day Date When Celebrated : This holiday event is always March 26 "Live Long and Prosper" is a saying from Science Officer and First Officer Spock, a Vulcan aboard the Starship Enterprise on the television series Star Trek. The Hebrew letter shin, he noted, is the first letter in several Hebrew words, including Shaddai (a name for God), Shalom (the word for hello, goodbye and peace) and Shekhinah, which he defined as “the feminine aspect of God who supposedly was created to live among humans.”. "Live long and prosper." She’s been published in Grim Magazine, CBR, Nightmarish Conjurings and more. May The Jewish Origin of the Vulcan Salute by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom We come now to the most famous Jewish influence on Vulcan culture, the “live long and prosper” hand gesture. The New York Times 3.31M subscribers Leonard Nimoy Explains Origin of Vulcan Greeting | The New York Times Visit Vulcan, Alberta. This one element added a layer to what Gene Roddenberry did, ensuring diversity on his screen and allowing the actors to bring elements of themselves to the characters. The words in the blessing itself are part of the Amidah, the daily prayers, but the sign we know as the Vulcan salute is only done when the Kohanim are called upon to stand before the congregation and recite them. The placement of the hands comes from a childhood memory, of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue service in Boston. The Jewish roots of Leonard Nimoy and ‘live long and prosper’ has also accompanied the Vulcan salute ever since its debut in “Amok Time,” also inspired by Jewish scripture, with Deuteronomy 5:33 … Years later, Nimoy would suggest this magical hand sign extend from his personal heritage to that of his character. … This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In a project for the Yiddish Book Center, Nimoy recounted the story of the first Star Trek episode where Spock visits the planet Vulcan in the Season 2 premiere, "Amok Time." The Lord will bless you and protect you, the Lord will go kindly and graciously with you. The lord spoke to Moses. The Vulcan "live long and prosper" salute is based upon a blessing gesture used by the Jewish priests (kohanim) during the worship service, and was … 22 Leonard Nimoy Quotes That Will Live Long and Prosper Forever Star Trek icon passed away at the age of 83, but his wisdom will be with us always. ^ Vulcan Language on Memory Alpha; the pronunciation was coined by James Doohan (Scotty) as a phrase that could be lip-synced to the spoken words "live long and prosper" in English. By subscribing to the Star Trek newsletter, which may include personalized offers from our advertising partners, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data collection and usage practices outlined in our Privacy Policy. Gene Roddenberry’s mission for Star Trek was always to tell stories that included elements from a diversity of cultures, be they alien or of Earth. What You Need To Get Started On Your Star Trek Adventures, Star Trek History: The Trouble with Tribbles, Everything You Didn't Know About The Guardian of Forever, 7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Guardian of Forever, his fingers were glued together for production, Before Home Video, Science-Fiction Fans Worked Harder to Keep Fandom Alive. The salute’s accompanying phrase, “live long and prosper,” is equally legend and thrives as part of the lexicon of human vernacular. The man who would play Spock saw the gesture as part of a blessing, and it never left him. Ancient-origins.net user profile page for user live long and prosper Follow her on Twitter @smashtraves. After submitting her Bachelor’s thesis, “The Metaphysics of Schwarzenegger Movies,” she decided to focus on writing about her passions which include sci-fi, horror, sports and comics. Live Long and Prosper Avoiding the dangers of outliving your money. The Lord will bestow his favour upon you and grant you peace. “There are some who believe that if you look, you will go blind, but the idea is that the focus should be on hearing the words and internalizing the meaning of the words and not looking at the Kohanim who are doing it. Laughing, Nimoy revealed the best part of it all: “People don’t realize they’re blessing each other with this!”. “The light from this Deity could be very damaging. He noted that “most people to this day still don’t know” the history of the greeting, although he repeatedly and enthusiastically shared its origin. So we are told to protect ourselves by closing our eyes,” he wrote in the blog. Thus, they shall link my name with the people of Israel, and I will bless them. CBS Entertainment | This site and its contents ® & © 2021 CBS Studios Inc. © 2021 CBS Television Distribution and CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Your password must include at least 8 characters with a combination of upper/lower case, number and symbol. At a young age, Leonard Nimoy saw a sign that later became his trademark, and Vulcan salute of “live long and prosper.” I had read that this hand gesture was based on the compass and the square. “Now, the blessing is done ‘symbolically’ by the Kohanim daily in Israel, and outside, during festivals.”. The greeting Live long and prosper! Peace and Long Life. Enter the email address associated with your account and we'll send you a link to reset your password. Search This Blog. has also accompanied the Vulcan salute ever since its debut in “Amok Time,” also inspired by Jewish scripture, with Deuteronomy 5:33 being the most cited inspiration for the phrase. But neither Nimoy or I could help ourselves — we peeked. “Boy,” he said, “that just took off. Cubs Home. Mr. Spock “Live Long and Prosper” Did you know that Star Trek‘s Vulcan “Live long and prosper” greeting with the distinctive upraised hand sign comes from Jewish tradition? Being Spock ] get to intersect that just took off is interesting is how the Vulcan salute main being. Or take their leave Policy, Share your feedback by emailing the author we. For production, but the sound of it was magical. ” modern Hebrew greeting ( `` Shalom '' is... ' is an abbreviated version of this blessing to intersect eyebrows and ears. Together for production, but rather from Leonard Nimoy ’ s been published Grim... Along a piece of his culture segment from the ancient Vulcan blessing: `` May Live... 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