Every Jew is like the tree of the field. He is rooted in the solid ground of his ancestors’
legacy, roots of soul and tradition, and turns his head upwards yearning higher and
yet higher heavenward. Ancestors’ legacy and love of G-od are those that guarantee
the life of man – the tree – within the people of Israel
Tu B'Shevat signals renewed vitalization in nature. Some Halachic ramifications of the New Year for the trees, the parallel to the spiritual renewal of man on our New Year, and how our daily, monthly and yearly "timetable" is intimately connected with the Land of Israel.
Do I recite this bracha when smelling a delicious cup of coffee or a freshly-baked pastry? After all, the coffee bean is a fruit, and the flour of the pastry is a grain, which is also halachically a fruit.
The custom is to eat fruits on both the evening and day of Tu Bishvat, and people try to give preference to those fruits for which the land of Israel is famous. Furthermore, it is preferable to eat fruits that were grown in the land of Israel.
The food we consume also influences our spiritual composition. The excellence of the fruits of the land of Israel does not stem from their flavor, size, and beauty alone. Beyond these virtues they enjoy a spiritual distinction: they possess sanctity.
In my humble opinion, we have merited an opportunity to widen the parameters of sanctity by allowing the sciences to enter the confines of the Torah. This, of course, must be carried out with the appropriate caution and zeal for the Torah.