Jewish Heritage Europe

Hands in Priestly Blessing

The death in February 2015 of the actor Leonard Nimoy, legendary for the half-human, half-Vulcan Star Trek character Mr. Spock,  has focused attention on his iconic “Live Long and Prosper” divided-finger hand gesture that was based on the hands raised in blessing by the Cohanim in Jewish tradition — a common motif found on the gravestones of Cohanim, or descendants of the priestly tribe, and in the ornamentation of Arks in synagogues. 

This gallery includes images of the hands raised in blessing from a number of countries.