Brother Michael's Notebook
My condolences to the friends, family and to millions throughout the world who loved this man, myself included.
What does John 10:10 say; "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
What does Spock’s famous “Vulcan salute” have to do with Jewish symbolism and the words of Christ in John 10:10? Quite a lot, actually. Here’s Leonard Nimoy to explain the first bit, which begins during filming on the TOS episode “Amok Time.”
So, Spock’s ubiquitous hand sign is a modified version of a Jewish gesture representing the name of God. That means that any time Spock or any other Vulcan greets someone in this fashion, they are, in certain sense, giving a blessing in the name of Yahweh. That’s significant. This isn’t just a general reference to an idea of God or a “god thing,” to use Gene Roddenberry’s words, but a symbol of the God of the Hebrew people, the God of the Bible.
It seems clear that the case is not so much that it was Nimoy’s intention to make the Vulcans a Jewish or even theistic race, but that his Hebraic heritage was a natural place from which to draw inspiration for this ritualistic greeting. Nevertheless, this is yet another very specific link to Biblical faith in Star Trek. It doesn’t mean that Star Trek on the whole has any agenda toward associating itself with Judaism or Christianity, but taken as part of a whole family of seeming coincidences of this nature, it does fuel the notion that there is perhaps something Divine at work in the Star Trek story.
But the salute itself is only part of the traditional Vulcan greeting. There are spoken words as well. With some degree of variance over the many episodes and films in which it is depicted, the exchange is usually, “Peace and long life,” followed by the more famous response phrase, “Live long and prosper.” This exchange carries two levels of significance.
First, as pointed out by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom, these twin phrases reflect a traditional Jewish greeting, which consists of the phrases, “Shalom aleichem” and “Aleichem shalom.” In English, the words are “Peace be upon you” and “Upon you be peace.” Though it’s not a perfect reflection, it’s quite close. But there is an even closer resemblance elsewhere: namely, in the words of Jesus.
“Peace and long life” is a good representation of the Jewish greeting “Peace be upon you,” but what about the much more well-known “Live long and prosper?” In the Gospel of John, Jesus defines his role and intentions as the Good Shepherd in part by contrasting himself with Satan. “The thief,” he says, “comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Here, Jesus says quite literally that he has come so that we may “live long and prosper.”
This becomes particularly interesting when we look at Spock as a Christ figure. Like Jesus, he comes to us in the name of Yahweh God. Like Jesus, he says he wants us to have life and the abundance thereof. Like Jesus, he ultimately sacrifices himself for those he loves and is victorious over death. It is therefore not insignificant that, as he dies, Spock’s last words to Kirk in Star Trek II are “Live long and prosper.” It is because of Spock’s sacrifice that Kirk is able to do just that. In the same way, we live because of Christ’s sacrifice.
So, in the Vulcan salute and its accompanying verbal greetings, we have a representation of the name of Yahweh God, a phrase that echoes a traditional Jewish blessing and a response that echoes the words of Jesus and the victory over death that he accomplished. The greeting therefore acts as a bridge between Star Trek, Judaism and Jesus that speaks to the beautiful fulfillment of the Jewish faith that comes in Christ.
Over the course of the past week, our latest 60 second TV commercial was released. When it comes to advertising, a Church must walk a fine line to protect its non-profit, tax exempt status.
We are not marketing a product, as much as we are recruiting men and/or women to choose us for their vocational pathway. We do hope you enjoy it and if you wish to promote it you can do so at your discretion. The video embed code can be ascertained by clicking on "the paper airplane link" captioned above or via the video homepage at: https://vimeo.com/119262431
Ref: No one can say James Robertson didn’t pay his dues or deserve a break during these long winter months in Detroit.
Today, thanks to a college student studying computers, Robertson won’t be trudging 21 miles to his factory job, five days a week. It will be easier on his soles — and his soul — to keep up that perfect attendance record, now that tens of thousands of dollars in donations were raised to buy him a car.
Two days ago a front page story in the Detroit Press featured Robertson’s incredible work ethic and humble spirit, and inspired a 19-year-old techie to start a campaign to buy him a car. Just like the story yesterday about the young beautician raising more than a quarter million dollars for a disabled mugging victim, Evan Leedy started off with a goal to collect just $5,000.
”I just wanted to get him a car to get back and forth to work,” wrote Evan Leedy in an update on his fundraising page. “But thanks to everyone’s generous donations, this is skyrocketed into more than just a car.”
A day later, the soft-spoken machine operator got to meet the student from Wayne State University and said, “I’m always going to be in your debt — I will never forget this.”
The single man of 56 told a group of reporters that he was thinking about buying the Ford Taurus, which he thought was a lot like himself, “plain on the outside, sturdy on the inside.”
People across the country were touched by the toil of his long daily commute. Gene Bowen of Las Vegas, wrote: “Dedication and pride obviously drives this man to do what most everyone else would simply conclude was not worth $400 before taxes a week. He is a very special human being.”
The banker who originally introduced the story to the Michigan newspaper, after noticing James on his arduous journey in all kinds of weather due to lack of bus service in outer Detroit, has assembled a board of advisors at Robertson’s request to manage the huge influx of donations.
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