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'Live Long and Prosper': Mr. Spock's Hebrew Hand Gesture

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Leonard Nimoy, most famous for playing Mr. Spock on ‘Star Trek,’ has passed away at the age of 83. Here’s how he came up with the hand gesture that made him famous.

Who could forget Mr. Spock’s trademark hand sign on “Star Trek”? It turns out that the distinctive salute was based on the Hebrew letter shin.

That’s the story behind the gesture, says Leonard Nimoy, who played the half-human, half-Vulcan character for decades in the various TV and film incarnations of “Star Trek.”

In a 2011 appearance at a synagogue in Maryland, Nimoy recalled explaining the need for a special greeting for the character. “Humans shake hands. Asian people bow to each other … What do Vulcans do?” he remembered asking a director.

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'Live Long and Prosper': Mr. Spock's Hebrew Hand Gesture

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