Who knew that the Vulcan race from Star Trek might be Jewish?
Star Trek fans all recognize the Vulcan salute/greeting of paired fingers. According to Leonard Nimoy, who’s played ‘Spock’ since the character was introduced, the origins of that salute lie in his own Jewish roots. The Vulcan salute first appeared in the original series episode ‘Amok Time’.
Nimoy remembered going to Synagog when he was a child. When the rabbi started praying, his father told him not to look up. Being a boy, of course, he looked and saw the rabbi praying loudly & passionately. His hands were spread out in what Trek fans recognize as the Vulcan salute.
Nimoy later learned that the paired fingers represented the Hebrew letter ‘Shin’, the first letter in ‘Shaddai’, God’s name, and also Shekhina, the feminine aspect of God which was created to live among mankind. Of course, it’s also the first letter in ‘Shalom’ (Peace).
Most Christians bow our heads during prayer, but I’ve seen people raise both their heads & their hands. I’d never thought too much about why heads are usually bowed other than it’s a sign of respect or submission.
According to Nimoy, this Shekhina comes in among the congregation during prayer, and its presence is so powerful that you could be injured or killed if you saw it. Very similar to the O.T. story of Moses (Ex 33:20-23).
When filming the episode ‘Amok Time’, Nimoy thought there should be some kind of traditional greeting between Vulcans. Westerners shake hands, in countries like Japan & China people bow as a sign of respect, so Vulcans should have their own tradition as well. He suggested the paired fingers, and a tradition was born.