Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (This Week in Jewish History)

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) Source: Wikimedia Commons
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) Source: Wikimedia Commons

In August of 1778, the non-Jewish writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing wrote to his brother of a new literary project designed to further tolerance of Jews in German society. The result was Nathan the Wise, a sensation that was initially banned by the Church and heavily criticized by antisemites of the day.