FPS Breakfast Shiurim for November and December

All are welcome to the upcoming Shiurim:

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2018 AT 8.30 am


‘Disillusioned words like bullets bark’

This short sequence of poems represents the work of four important and distinctive Jewish Nobel Literature Laureates - the Russian dissidents Boris Pasternak and Joseph Brodsky; Nelly Sachs, who offered moving testimony to the consequences of the Holocaust; and Bob Dylan, who was controversially awarded the prize in 2016. Each provokes profound consideration of the human condition and its context, and is bound to stimulate vigorous discussion.

Peter Brennan will be visiting FPS for the third time. Peter was for many years Head of English at The Latymer School, Edmonton and has since taught over 60 literature courses at City Lit College, Holborn.

SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER 2018 AT 8.30 am


‘Eye for An Eye’

In this Shiur we consider morality from the perspective of two seemingly unrelated topics: lex talionis and the evolution of cooperation.

The first one, lex talionis (“… eye for an eye ...”), played a significant role in the history of law and is one of the most famous passages in the Torah. A version of this law is described in the Codex of Hammurabi. The contrast between some of the commands in the Torah and the Codex of Hammurabi provides a fertile ground to highlight desirable attributes of an ideal Moral system.

The second topic is approached through a well-known mathematical problem known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, which embodies in an elegant way the problem of cooperating in challenging environments. Here, a version of the law of retaliation, "equivalent retaliation" (or tit-for-tat), has been shown to be one of the simplest and most effective strategies to promote cooperation.

To bridge the gap between the two topics we consider the notion of free will and the moral ability of an individual to distinguish what is right and wrong. 

A delicious Tony Rose breakfast will be served before each Shiur.