A mudra that links Star Trek, Orthodox Jewish liturgy, and the god of witches.
The “Vulcan salute” premiered in 1967 during Star Trek's second season. Series creator Gene Roddenberry felt that the words of the newly-invented Vulcan greeting needed some sort of physical gesture to go with them. Actor Leonard Nimoy held up his hand, palm facing out, thumb extended, fingers divided between the second and third fingers. In that moment, a pop-culture icon was born. Live long and prosper, folks.
Nimoy knew the gesture from his childhood. Six times a year in the Orthodox synagogue that his grandfather took him to, the kohanim—men from priestly families—would face the congregation, raise both hands before their faces making the same hand-sign, and pronounce the ancient Threefold Blessing:
Bulls.Big, strong, temperamental creatures that have had loomed large in man’s past.Bull jumping, bull baiting, bull fights and running of the bulls are events where they were, and in some cases still are, featured.They were used in the form of oxen to pull plows and carts.Their virility kept up herds, generating wealth for their owners. In some areas, placing a bull head above a door gives protection and luck much like the horse shoe. As sacrifices, few animals were more costly.From them we get the terms ‘seeing red’ and ‘bull-headed’.A lot of myths feature bulls, even modern myths like Paul Bunyan and his blue ox.In some cultures, earthquakes are blamed on a rowdy celestial bull believed to have the world upon its horns.A lot of masculine divinities, particularly those of the sun and the sky, are associated with bulls.