Nimoy was born to Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, which led to his developing the gesture. As a child, Nimoy witnessed priests forming their fingers in a V-shaped pattern, palms down, which is a traditional Jewish blessing.
“For what would soon become known as the Vulcan salute, I borrowed a hand symbol from Orthodox Judaism. During the High Holiday services, the Kohanim (who are the priests) bless those in attendance. As they do, they extend the palms of both hands over the congregation, with thumbs outstretched and the middle and ring fingers parted so that each hand forms two vees,” he explained in his memoir I am Spocj. MORE