At a stage in her life when she had cut herself free from social ties, Simone Weil reproved the ancient Israelites for their adherence to rule, for the legalism of the priests and their rejection of the Dionysian mystery cults (1950). But it was all very well for her to make the judgment It would be impossible for the leaders of an occupied but still resisting nation to adopt an effervescent form of religion. To expect them to stop preaching a stern sexual morality, vigilant control of bodily boundaries, and a corresponding religious cult would be asking them to give up the political struggle. So long as they were set upon that, the choice was no more open to them to worship God with wine, song and dance than it was open to Simone ...

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