In 2020 not a few Israelis still remember and commemorate the late Marcel-Jacques Dubois (pronounced dubwah), a devout Dominican monastic, theologian and philosopher. He was born a century ago in France while most of his lifetime, 45 years, he sojourned in Jerusalem. In 2007 he was buried at the Beit Jamal convent near the biblical town of Beit Shemesh.
Although he fluently spoke and wrote colloquial Hebrew, he could not hide his very heavy French accent. When he spoke to Israeli audiences dressed in his white monkish gown, this pronunciation added a mysterious charm to his appearance.
As a naturalized Israeli citizen and an expert of medieval philosophy at Jerusalem’s national-Zionist Hebrew University, officially opened in 1925, Dubois was committed to introduce a positive perspective within contemporary Catholic-Jewish relations. He was strongly influenced by the post-Vatican II views, particularly following the famous declaration “In Our Times” (Nostra aetate), opening the gate for a respectful approach by Catholics to Judaism and the Jews.
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