Thought for the Week: Faith Civilisations and the Final Frontier
In September 1966, a new, unusual individual was introduced to the world.
He displayed no emotion, was extremely logical and highly intelligent.
This 'unusual individual' was from a race that believed in the principle of IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
They said: "The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity and the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty."
This unbigoted, broad-minded, principled individual came from the planet Vulcan and his name?
Mr Spock...from the TV series Star Trek.
The man who played the role was Leonard Nimoy, a Jewish actor. Nimoy was, himself the target of prejudice at various points in his life in the US, but never abandoned his Jewish roots.
He clearly appeciated the role of Spock which allowed him to give an objective view of the human race's weaknesses and strengths, its prejudices and inclusiveness, while his own character always pushed forward the principles of peace and oneness.
One of the most enduring features of Spock was giving the Vulcan salute, consisting of a raised hand with the palm forward and the thumb extended, while the fingers are parted between the middle and ring finger (not a salute that everyone finds easy!)
In this connection, Nimoy, wrote that he was taken to an orthodox synagogue as a child. There a Priestly Blessing performed by a Jewish Cohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb - in the same position as the salute - representing the Hewbrew letter Shin, which here stands for El Shaddai, meaning 'Almighty God', as well as Shalom (meaning 'peace', 'harmony', 'wholeness'). The name of "Islam" derives from Shalom.
When Nimoy saw the blessing performed, he was extremely impressed by it.
Remembering it 30 years later, he used the single-handed version for the Vulcan salute. With it go the words, "Live long and prosper" and the reply, "Peace and long life".
A salute and a greeting that at once encapsulated the actor, his Faith and helped breathe life into the iconic character he portrayed.
Simon Trick, member of the Baha'i faith.
Date: Sunday 20th September 2020