Reblog: Live Long and Prosper

The image popped up on Facebook; a bit of digging brought me to this post from Mantilla and Converse, which I thought was worth sharing in its entirety:


בשמאלה עושר וכבוד – in her left hand riches and honor

Happy are those who find wisdom,
and those who get understanding,
for her income is better than silver,
and her revenue better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;

those who hold her fast are called happy.

– Proverbs 3:13-18

The gesture depicted is one of priestly blessing used in certain Jewish services, and was also the inspiration for the Vulcan salute in the Star Trekfranchise:

In his autobiography I Am Not Spock, [Leonard] Nimoy wrote that he based [the Vulcan salute] on the Priestly Blessing performed byJewish Kohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), which has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the salute. The letter Shin here stands for Shaddai, meaning “Almighty (God)”. Nimoy wrote that when he was a child, his grandfather took him to an Orthodox synagogue. There he saw the blessing performed and was very impressed by it.

The mosaic depicted is from the Synagogue of Enschede in The Netherlands.

ETA: It just occurred to me that “Long life is in her right hand; in her left are riches and honor” is rather similar to “Live long and prosper”.

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