It was after I posted a poem on my MySpace blog, a humorous one with a science fiction theme, that one of the comments I received mentioned the Vulcan salute (a form of nonverbal communication, of the kinesic variety, subcategory of emblems, for those familar with the subject). Here's a classic image of Mr. Spock, from the original Star Trek television series, delivering the gesture:
I went on to note that the hand gesture is used when giving the priestly blessing--May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (traditional translation, from Numbers 6:24). It is attributed to Aaron, brother of Moses, whose descendants, the House of Aaron, became the Priests of ancient Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem.
Here's a traditional image depicting the priestly blessing:
Well, he's almost making the gesture in this picture, but not exactly, I know. But I did think it interesting to juxtapose the two Leonards:
Separated at birth? Genetic markers? Who's to say? All that I can say is, Live long and prosper! That's what Vulcans say when they make with the Vulcan salute, to which the response is, Peace and long life! Or simply, Shalom!
Addendum. Thanks to my anonymous commenter for pointing out the following blog post that also discussed Leonard Cohen and the priestly blessing: The Legacy Of Leonard Cohen's Tel Aviv Priestly Blessing Plus A New Video Of The Event. It's a good one, so go take a look. It's about Cohen delivering the benediction at a recent concert in Israel, and here's a photo: