This is a photo from Chisinau, Moldova’s Jewish Cemetery, the largest in Europe. But you may be noticing something familiar about the hand gestures on this tombstone – especially if you’re a Star Trek fan. Yes, this is the famous Vulcan salute, created by Leonard Nimoy during the show’s second season.
It was a gesture he made spontaneously but has described its origin from his childhood. Nimoy, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, took him to services at a local synagogue in Boston. He recalled as a child being told not to look at the kohen (priests) during one particular part of prayers each service – but of course his curious Vulcan mind took a peek.
This gesture of the two hands is what he saw and it’s the inspiration for the now famous Vulcan salute.
So to you my friends and fellow travelers, live long and prosper. To which the appropriately Vulcan response is, peace and long life.