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Phrase meaning

Posted by ESC on August 06, 2003

In Reply to: Phrase meaning posted by Fabiola on August 06, 2003

: Could someboday tell me what the phrase "Live long and prosper" means

: Thank you.

From the archives:

Some one should tell them that Live Long and Prosper is not a Star Trek original. In fact it was not even part of the Star Trek script, rather it was an ad lib by Leonard Nimoy [Mr. Spock]. Nimoy has been a devout Jew his entire life and Live Long and Prosper is a bennediction that Rabbi's used to give over their congregation. In addition, the accompanying hand jesture is representative of the Hebrew letter Shin, which begins the word Shadai, one of God's sacred names. Just thought you might want to know the true origin of the phrase.

: Very interesting! I googled "Live long and prosper" "Jewish benediction" and came up with several sites including:

: "Another common decorative motif is a hand, with a wide spread between the middle and ring fingers; or a pair of such hands. This is the ancient handsign of the ko-ha-nim (priests) in the Temple. The priestly handsign is symbolic of divine immanence. The handsign was used by the kohanim when they pronounced The Priestly Blessing on the congregation. This ritual is still a part of the service, and is discussed later. This Jewish ritual has been popularized by the Star Trek TV show, which used it as the Vulcan ritual of greeting. The Vulcan ritual of greeting consists of the handsign accompanied by a blessing: 'Live long and prosper,' which is an abbreviated paraphrase of the original Jewish blessing. (Footnote 17) The modern Hebrew greeting ("Shalom") is a still shorter version of this blessing.

: 17 Star Trek's use of the Jewish ritual is not coincidental. Leonard Nimoy, the actor that portrayed the original Vulcan, Mr. Spock, got his first acting jobs in Yiddish Theater, and has been Baal Koreh (Torah reader) at his synagogue." judaism/ask/archives/qs006.htm Accessed on November 23, 2002.

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