Star Trek Icon Leonard Nimoy Has “Lived Long and Prospered”

Leonard Nimoy says there is a “strong strain of Judaism” in everything he does—including his famous on-screen hand gestures.

Best known for his character Mr. Spock in the “Star Trek” television show and movies, most recently in his cameo as Spock Prime in this year’s blockbuster “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Nimoy’s Vulcan hand gesture comes from an experience he had at synagogue when he was 8 years old.

Nimoy’s father told him not to look as worshippers averted their eyes during blessings recited by the kohanim.

“The men were chanting, shouting and praying in an Orthodox service,” Nimoy, 82, says in an interview with JNS.org. “It was very passionate, very theatrical. I was chilled by the whole thing.”

Years later, while on the set of the “Star Trek” television show, Nimoy suggested to the director that Vulcans like Spock should offer some gesture in greeting other Vulcans.

“The director asked me what I had in mind and I suggested the gesture used by the kohanim,” Nimoy says. The gesture went on to be accompanied by the expression “live long and prosper.”

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