The twenty-first letter of the alef-beis is the shin.

The shin comprises three vertical lines representing three columns. The letter itself looks like a crown.

The dimensions  of the shin’s columns is reflected by the three Patriarchs. Abraham is represented by the right line, Chessed (loving-kindness), as he personified absolute kindness, an outward focus through connection to others, and the per­formance of good deeds. Isaac is represented by the left line, Gevurah (discipline and severity), indicative of his being intro­spective and demanding of himself; concentrating on self-refinement and intense prayer. Jacob is the centerline. This is Tiferes, or harmony, because he took the qualities of Abraham and Isaac, kindness and severity, and synthesized them into mercy.

– from Shin: The Matriarchs


One day, the Meridian having been closely enough establish’d, and with an hour or two of free time available to them, one heads north, one south, and ’tis Dixon’s luck to discover The Rabbi of Prague, headquarters of a Kabbalistick Faith, in Correspondence with the Elect Cohens of Paris, whose private Salute they now greet Dixon with, the Fingers spread two and two, and the Thumb held away from them likewise, said to represent the Hebrew letter Shin and to signify, “Live long and prosper.”

– from Mason & Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon

mason and dixon book

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing…

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

– from the NY Times obituary

nimoy artistMr. Nimoy wrote poetry voluminously and was also
an accomplished  photographer. “Secret Selves,” a
series of photographs in which he encouraged people
to reveal their hidden natures any way they chose,
was exhibited at the Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art in 2010.
[Matthew Cavanaugh for The New York Times]