Star Trek: Discovery’s second season ended with the crew of the USS Discovery jumping 930 years into the future. It was a blind leap into the unknown, with no guarantee of safety or even sentient life. For the crew, that meant leaving behind friends and family nearly a millennia in the past.
For viewers, this might be the best thing that’s happened to Discovery, which premieres on Thursday on CBS All Access (Disclosure: CBS All Access is owned by ViacomCBS, which also owns CNET).
The show has spent its first two seasons tip-toeing and contorting itself around different aspects of Trek lore, from Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) relationship with foster brother Spock (Ethan Peck) and father Sarek (James Frain) to the question of bald Klingons and why we had never heard
During the early years of the first “Star Trek” TV series, when a producer asked actor Leonard Nimoy to develop a sign of greeting for his character Spock to use, Nimoy flashed on a childhood memory.
What popped into his mind was a synagogue service in which several rabbis raised their hands, split their pinkie and ring fingers from their middle and index fingers to form a wide V, and started chanting in Hebrew.
And that’s how the Birkat Kohanim — a sign of Jewish blessing that dates to the time of Moses — inspired the “Vulcan salute,” the hand sign that became Spock’s signature and an icon of Western pop culture.
The story, first shared by Nimoy in his 1975 autobiography, “I Am Not Spock,” isn’t the only example of Judaism intersecting the universes of space study and science fiction. It’s a connection as old as the Torah, and