Hubbub: Leonard Nimoy

I also heard that the Vulcan salute came from your synagogue. This could be the city’s greatest cultural contribution since the Boston Tea Party. I was sitting with my grandfather, my father, and my brother at the synagogue on North Russell Street. And there comes a point in the service when the Kohanim, these gentlemen who are members of the tribes of the Kohen, get up in front of everyone to bless the congregation. And when they do that, typically the congregation doesn’t look at them. My dad said, "Don’t look," and I peeked. I was about eight years old. I saw these guys up there with their hands stretched out toward us, in the shape you’ve seen me do on Star Trek, the split-fingered gesture.

I’ve been trying to do that my whole life. During this conversation, too. It takes work. I started working on it when I was eight, and I mastered it. And I didn’t know why they were doing it, I just knew that I was intrigued. It was something magical.