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To Be or Not To Be Spock – Leonard Nimoy Discusses his “Live Long and Prosper” Hand Gesture

by Rabbi John Rosove

April 20, 2014 | 7:20 am

My friends know that Leonard Nimoy is married to my first cousin Susan (her father and my mother were brother and sister). I have been close with Susan, who is a “smidge” older than me, throughout my adult life from our 20s when we rediscovered each other as young adults outside of childhood.

When Susan married Leonard twenty-five years ago I had only known him the way the public does, as a fine actor and director, the creator of Mr. Spock on the Star Trek series, as Morris Meyerson, the husband of Golda Meir, in Leonard’s Emmy-nominated role opposite Ingrid Bergman in “A Woman Called Golda,” as a liberal political activist, and as a committed Jew.

What I didn’t know was Leonard’s heart, and over these past two plus decades as a close family member, I have grown to love Leonard for so many reasons, not the least of which is that he makes my cousin Susan so happy (as she does him), but also because of his seriousness as an thinker and artist, his sense of humor and loving heart, his kindness and menschlechkite. My wife Barbara and I love him.

This five-minute interview with Leonard is a classic, and if you have not heard the story of his signature hand gesture of greeting/farewell as a Vulcan in Star Trek, do click onto the link below.

Leonard wrote two autobiographies; the first he called “I Am Not Spock”; the second he called “I Am Spock” – both are true, depending on circumstances.

As you will see, the hand gesture that accompanies “Live Long and Prosper” emerged out of Leonard’s earliest memories as a Jew accompanying his grandfather, father and older brother to shul on Shabbos morning in South Boston.

What I love most about this interview is that Leonard’s joy and love come pouring through, clearly reflecting that side of him which is NOT Spock!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyiWkWcR86I

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed his duties as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in November 1988. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley...

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