In these pages, Weil expands upon her conception of religion, which in her opinion "includes the whole
of life." As usual, she places strong emphasis on the ethical aspects of Judaism and the Jewish ideal of righteousness, but she also points to the importance of a spiritual sense of exaltation and of the feeling of "kinship with all other Jews."
WHAT JUDAISM MEANS TO ME
This is a statement of my personal experience, which may be egotistical. I make no apologies: it will be personal.
Our early ancestors, in their search for a god, moved from what they knew into the unknown - from the
fruits finite of their experience to the fascinating region of speculation. Their conception of God was a god made in their own image, with human emotions: love, hate, jealousy, etc. We call it anthropomorphism. Finally, we come to see God as the impersonal creative power, the universal cause. Thus God may be called the Cosmic Cause, the Cosmic Law, or the Cosmic Force. I personally can conceive of God only in this universal cosmic sense.
What is religion? In many people's code religion is limited to the area of theology: their idea of God, God's will, obedience or disobedience to His laws, etc. I recall reading recently a criticism of the Rev. W.W. Finletter, of Raleigh, for concerning himself with social conditions. The writer thought a minister should confine himself to matters of "religion", that is theology, church creed, church attendance, the prospect of heaven or hell. In my definition, religion includes the whole of life: one's beliefs, one's attitudes to society, one's behavior. It is significant that our leaders -
or our prophets and priests - enjoined on their people not only a belief (faith) in God, but an ethical code of behavior: strict honesty in commerce, fair treatment of employees, kind consideration of the dependent (the widow,