[Avodah] avelut after 12 months

Kenneth Miller via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 29 15:37:27 PDT 2015

R' Eli Turkel asked:

> The gemara says that Yoseph was certainly alive because Yaakov
> mourned him the whole time while we know that the dead are
> forgotten after 12 months ...
> I have a personal problem with this statement. ... one never
> forgets a child

R"n Toby Katz answered:

> I don't think "gezeira al hameis" means the person is literally
> forgotten, but that the degree of mourning becomes less intense.
> ... the parent goes on with life, even if a heaviness always
> remains somewhere in the background.   

I have had the same question as RET, and I thank RTK for this answer.

I have written on several occasions, about my belief that Chazal often exaggerate, and this misleads those who are not used to their style of speaking. I think we have here another example of the same thing. There's a tendency to take Chazal at literal face value. We need to be more careful when reading the poetry.

Akiva Miller

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