December 1, 2004 | Issue 16

Two Jews Found Holding Same Opinion

EDISON, NJ — [] The Jewish scientific community was rocked this week by reports of an unprecedented discovery. Doctors Boruch Schneier and Zevulun Friedman leaked preliminary results of a survey they are administering. In it, they make the surprising claim of having found two Jews with the same opinion.

The scientists say that the odds of this happening by chance are worse than the odds of finding a parking spot in Boro Park two minutes before candle lighting. "The coincidence is not a coincidence," is the motto of the spotlighted researchers.

Amongst Jews, even identical twins don't think alike. Finding common ground between Jews is considered mathematically an "NP-complete" hard problem, putting it in the same class of problems as hair-splitting and nit-picking, also things at which Jews excel.

Unsurprisingly, opinions differ as to the origins of this phenomenon, with no consensus being reached. Among the possible explanations are the Jewish predilection for iconoclasm and general disdain for authority. The exception that proves the rule are the few Jewish sects that worship authority and fear individualism.

Shocking no one, the two scientists can't agree on what to do with the findings. Dr. Schneier wants to publish immediately, while Dr. Friedman is for holding off until more data confirms the hypothesis. This reporter is not holding his breath for a concurrence.

As expected, not everyone concurs with the doctors' claims. Skeptics contend that the finding violates Kerchoff's Principle ("two Jews, three opinions") and is thus likely due to a sampling error. They cite the similarity of opinions as evidence that both surveys were filled out by the same Jew. These nay-sayers point out that by offering bagels to get people to fill out the survey, the researchers biased the sample to bagel-lovers, while increasing the chances of a nudnik going for doubles, making their results not curious, but spurious. The author was inclined to agree and skip this article, but, of course, my editor disagreed.


Pencil Mordy Ovits did standup once. They laughed at him. They all laughed at him. You can email your laughter to him at


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