20 Mind-Blowing Facts You Never Knew About Star Trek

17. Spock’s Hand Gesture Has Jewish Roots

Much like “Beam me up, Scotty,” “where no man has gone before” and many other tropes and catchphrases from the show, Spock’s “live long and prosper” gesture – separating the fingers on one hand to make a V-shape – has become ingrained in popular culture, to the point even non-Trekkies recognise it.

The gesture was actually devised by Lenoard Nimoy himself, who didn’t have to look far for inspiration. He just nicked a gesture made by various Jewish denominations, including Orthodox and Conservative, which the actor learned from visiting his grandfather’s synagogue as a child.

The gesture forms the Hebrew letter “Shin” which represents “Almighty God”, and is usually used by Jewish priests during a blessing ceremony performed during the prayer service. Nimoy improvised the gesture during the filming for the original series episode “Amok Time”, though he had an easier time pulling it off than most.

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