Weil was born in Paris to Alsatian agnostic Jewish parents who fled the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. She grew up in comfortable circumstances, and her father was a doctor. Her only sibling was André Weil, who would go on to become a great mathematician of the 20th century. She suffered throughout her life from severe headaches, sinusitis, and poor physical coordination, and spared no scrutiny to these in her philosophical writings. Her brilliance, ascetic lifestyle, introversion, and eccentricity limited her ability to mix with others, but not to teach and participate in political movements of her time. She wrote extensively with both insight and breadth about political movements of which she was a part and later about spiritual mysticism.