|This is not part of Jewish spiritual practice, although handling snakes is fun.|
The collector showed me a picture of his well-appointed snake room, with attractive accommodations for more than 30 serpents -- certainly an ideal place to sit and contemplate, an environment with its own aesthetic gravity.
What made me a fan of this man's hobby was his articulate description of the pleasure of having lots of snakes -- they were colorful, beautiful creatures that made him marvel at the diversity of life. He didn't give them names or wear them to rock concerts, just picking them up now and then to marvel at their excellent sleekness.
I'm not going to start having a pet snake, but I am grateful to have had the chance to understand the snake collector a bit better.