"At the heart of it all is the fact that I was trying to really completely enter into the world of the feminine," says Nimoy, 73. "I didn't want to do misty, cloudy figures. I didn't want to shroud her. I wanted to make her flesh and blood, and I wanted to make her definitively female."(source)
It's an idea that was planted with Nimoy when he was about 8, although he didn't fully realize it until a few years ago. During a segment of high holiday services at his Orthodox synagogue in Boston, members of the congregation stood before the assembly to deliver a special blessing. Standing with his brother, father and grandfather, Nimoy was told not to look at the men as they chanted the prayer.
But he took a peek, and saw the men swaying with their arms outstretched and their hands splayed in the manner he would later use as the Vulcan greeting in his "Star Trek" role. The hand symbol represents the first letter of a Hebrew word for God....
For decades, Nimoy didn't know why the congregation was not supposed to look as the blessing was being given. A few years ago, he finally asked the rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood, the reform synagogue he now attends.
"There's a legend that the Shekhina - the feminine aspect of God - comes in to bless the congregation," Nimoy said. "But the light from the Shekhina could be overwhelming and you could not survive it, so you shouldn't look. I was taken by that when I heard the explaination."
Thursday, 13 May 2004
Leonard Nimoy's vision of Shekhina, via witchvox.