A real, live Chanukah tree

A real, live Chanukah tree

Menorahs are available in many different designs and sizes, but Mel and Ellen Bett Kline didn’t expect to grow one when they planted a 15-foot saguaro cactus in the front yard of their North Phoenix home ‘7 years ago.

At that time, the cactus had two arms, and "each year I was watching it grow more and more," Mel Kline says.

Today, the approximately 135-year-old saguaro is 30 feet tall and has eight extended arms reaching toward the sky. "To our delight, it appeared that we had a living Chanukah menorah right here in our own front yard," says Kline in a press release.

This year, for the first time, the Klines contracted with Goodman’s Landscape Maintenance to install lights on the tips of the saguaro. Each arm is wired to light up individually, so the Klines plan to traditionally "light" their menorah each evening at sunset: one arm the first night, then adding another arm on consecutive evenings until they’re all lit on the eighth night. The stem serves as the shamash.

"I think this is one of a kind," Kline says. He sees the cactus as a symbol of peace, and dubs the "natural living Chanukah menorah" as "a lasting symbol of freedom in today’s world."

Courtesy Jewish News of Greater Phoenix