1. Another thing this day is:

    Listed in most of the lists of these things, not just an invention of this cartoonist.

  2. Nimoy was a conservative Jew. (I used to help run science fiction conventions. We almost had Nimoy booked to appear once … but as a practicing Jew, he couldn’t travel or do paid work on Saturday, our biggest day. We would have had to bring him in on Friday before sunset, he would have celebrated Sabbath on Saturday, and then he could have done appearances on Sunday. We couldn’t make that work.)

    The original series was creating Vulcan “alienisms,” ways for Spock to act not-like-the-other-characters. In “Pon Farr,” they wanted to show a unique Vulcan-to-Vulcan greeting. Nimoy realized that it couldn’t involve touching each other, because Vulcans are touch-telepaths and any contact would be very, very intimate. He adapted a gesture used by hereditary priests of Judaism (Kohanim) to bless congregations, in which they form two-fingers-on-each-side forks with their hands touching to make the Hebrew character shin</>, indicating Shaddai, literally “high” but indicating the deity (who is never named in modern Jewish practice).

    So the “Vulcan salute” was actually a modified version of a Jewish blessing from a caste of hereditary priests.

  3. Grawlix: The characters in the strips are dreidels, a sort of toy like a top that kids play with during Hannukah. The first verse of a popular song about dreidels (OK, the only popular song about dreidels) starts “I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. And when it’s dry and ready, with dreidel I shall play.”

  4. Could someone please explain the dreidel-in-the-shower comic for the Non-Jewish?

    It was explained when it was first presented in the other thread.

    The dreidl song goes:

    Dreidl, dredil, dreidl
    I made it out of clay
    and when it’s dry and ready
    with dreidl I will play

    So the joke is just taking a well known phrase and putting it in an unexpected context.

  5. Carl: Thanks for that explanation, I always wondered about the the similarity (or “identicality”) of those two gestures.

  6. That’s the disadvantage of repeating the comics in each post, the conversations end up running in multiple threads.

  7. That’s the disadvantage of repeating the comics in each post, the conversations end up running in multiple threads.

    We’re contemplating a Twelve Days of Christmas with the alternate model (previously discussed) — a single post with continuing thread, updated daily with an added item in the topnote.

    However, we don’t have the material yet, just a nice graphic of all 12 in thumbnail grid and a Partridge Family pun.

    Or maybe the thing to do is post just that, as a springboard, and note each day what kind of additions will be sought in comments. “Today is Gold Rings day, everybody!” . Save us sorting them all out in email …

  8. ::That’s the disadvantage of repeating the comics in each post, the conversations end up running in multiple threads.

    A small price to pay for the clever and funny idea that this and its execution provide.

  9. When I was a lad, I went to Catholic school for grades 4 and 5. We went on a religious cross-enlightenment field trip to a Synagogue. Alongside the . . . er . . . focal area up front (not sure of the technical term) there were some panels on either side with symbols. One was a pair of hands doing the blessing. At the time, Star Trek was in first run, so many of us thought of that as the Vulcan salute.

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