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Tonight I give thanks for rigorous historians, who offer us facts, perspective, and a sense of how different scenarios have unfolded in the past. Historians teach us about great figures from other centuries, models of courage and fierce intelligence to emulate in our own lives. They also teach us about danger signs and patterns of predictable misuse of power.

I pray stamina for every historian who spends long hours in the library, persistence for the scholars who check the sources carefully, encouragement for young history buffs who are told this isn't a good career path, and patience for those stalwart teachers who strive to hand the wisdom of the ages to students unconvinced of its value.I pray for the non-professional historians-- the grandparents, uncles and aunts, and elders of the community who remember the communal story. Here I think especially of Jewish friends whose remembrance of the Shoah compels them to work for justice in Palestine and in America. I think also of families whose grandfather immigrated to the U.S. years ago. The community no longer thinks that this is an immigrant family. But the family remembers the experiences that lead them to flee, the long struggle to get here, the fear and hunger and insecurity. I pray that these historians tell their stories loud and clear. Dear God, please bless me with a history loving spirit. Bless those who do this noble work.

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