Please provide as many different answers as you can on why is aveilus for a parent for a year and all others is only 30 days.
What different heartfelt ideas come to mind? What are some ideas that chachamim and rabanim shared on this ?
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R David Brofsky in his Hilkhot Avelut p. 192 quotes R Yosef Blau (Memories of a Giant) as explaining R Yosef Soloveitchik was puzzled why there were 12 months of aveilut for a parent who had lived a long full life compared to the one of a child, far more devastating, which lasts only 30 days.
R Blau gives a number of answers that he heard from the protagonists themselves during their shiva visit to R Soloveitchik
- the passing of a parent also represents a loss in the chain that extends to Mount Sinai (R Yitzchak Hutner)
- the mitzva of honoring one's parents continues even after their passing and creates the additional time of mourning (R Mordechai Pinchas Teitz)
- father and mother are the only halakhic relationships that cannot be duplicated (R Mordechai Pinchas Teitz)
- the relationship of dependency between a child and a parent normally decreases over time and may even reverse itself if a parent lives a long life. The sense of loss might be diminished by the infirmity of the aged parent. In order to force the child to reflect back on his total relationship with his parent, including the early years, and acknowledge the enormity of the debt owed to both father and mother, halakha requires this extended period of mourning. When a parent loses a child, there is no need for halakha to tell him to mourn. It is a natural response. Rather, what is needed is a process that ends, enabling one to go beyond mourning, return to functioning and tend to the other family members (R Soloveitchik himself)