It's been a while since I rhapsodized about Eretz Yisrael here and I've really wanted to. So here it goes. Happy Tu B'Shvat, a new year for the trees!!! We had a little party with the kids and ate all kinds of beautiful dried fruit. The stores have an unbelievable variety of all kinds of dried fruits, including all kinds of exotic ones, I never heard of being dried before like kiwis, strawberries and flowers. One sees a lot of fruit art this time of year here, there are trees being planted in honor of the occasion, it's really festive in a very moving way. But more than anything else, it's a holiday that's all about appreciating EretzYisrael and its beautiful fruit, about growth and flowering and the amazing things that take place under the surface away from the human eye, only to appear later in all their trully miraculous glory. It fills one with tremendous love for this great gift that Hashem has given us. Tu B'Shvat is a good time to speak top your children about all things Eretz Yisrael. One can also talk about trees and fruits and any other related subject (science?). There some lovely and creative Tu B'Shvat crafts at http://creativejewishmom.com/ under Holidays: Tu B'Shvat and here are some wonderful shiurim to make this special day more meaningful.