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Mishpacha Junior Speaks to a Snake Catcher

C.B. Gavant

Have you ever walked into your kitchen or bathroom and spotted a snake coiled up around the table leg or in the sink? If you live in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, the answer might be yes! Mr. Meir Goldsmith, who was raised in New York and moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh thirteen years ago, found himself an unusual vocation in response to the needs of his community.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MJ: Hi, Mr. Goldsmith. How did you get started snake catching?


MG: I originally learned how to catch snakes when I was a kid, in Boy Scouts clubs. Then, living in New York, I didn’t have anything to do with snakes for years. Sixteen years ago, I made aliyah, and three years after that my wife and I moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh. A couple of weeks after we moved, my wife saw a viper in the lobby of our building. She called me for help, and I caught it. Word spread, and other people began calling me, too. I bought myself a few books on the topic, got the equipment I needed, and let people know I was available.

Because Ramat Beit Shemesh is located near bare fields, people often spot snakes. I don’t charge for my services; I just ask that people reimburse me for my travel expenses. It’s my chesed to the community.


MJ: How often do you get called?


MG: I sometimes get called three or four times a day, and other weeks I don’t get any calls. Snakes go into hibernation for about three to four months in the winter. The past few winters have been so dry, though, that they seem to be going into hibernation later and coming out earlier, and I’ve been getting calls almost straight through the winter.


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