This week I had the pleasure of participating in Episode 172 of the podcast Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, hosted by David Barr Kirtley. I was joined by the award-winning writers and editors Jack Dann, and Rachel Swirsky. We talk about how certain Jewish customs and myths found their way into popular culture, such as the Vulcan Salute, and the name Kwisatz Haderach from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Here’s an excerpt from the lede:
THE NEW NOVEL King of Shards by Matthew Kressel draws on centuries of Judaic myth about creatures like golems, dybbuks, and demons. In the course of his research, Kressel discovered that much of modern science fiction has Jewish roots. For example, when actor Leonard Nimoy invented the Vulcan salute, he was inspired by a two-handed gesture he’d seen at a Jewish ceremony.
“He suggested the one-handed priestly blessing,” Kressel says in Episode 172 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And that entered into pop culture history.”
You can listen to the podcast here, but before you do, make sure to read the introduction text. Some pretty cool stuff in there from Rachel and Jack.