Remark: In the newspaper The Nation, which Baal HaSulam published in 1940, he wrote: “Jerusalem was ruined only because of unfounded hatred that existed in that generation.” At that time, the nation was plagued and died, and its organs were scattered to every direction.
Also Naftali Berlin wrote in Introduction to the book of Bereshit: “The generation of the times of the destruction of the Second Temple was stubborn and depraved. Therefore, because of unfounded hatred of each other in their hearts, they believed that every person acting contrary to their opinion should be killed. And all the troubles ensued from this, until the Temple finally fell.”
But on the other hand, the Jews kept the outer commandments.
My Comment: No. This, in our time, is considered keeping commandments. At that time, keeping commandments was considered to fulfill the basic principle of loving your neighbor.
Everything else is just etiquette, customs that have nothing to do with the internal state of the people. Therefore, the destruction of the Second Temple occurred only because of unfounded hatred, although the people observed absolutely all the laws.
Rabbi Akiva was calling only to one thing: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Nothing else is needed.” Still, the Temple collapsed precisely because people said: “But we follow all the customs.” However, the most important thing was missing—closeness of hearts.
Remark: But we can say that they could not observe the principle of love your neighbor, as nature led them this way.
My Comment: On one hand, this is a natural process, and on the other hand, we are obliged to do this. Indeed, even now we do not know what nature is preparing for us.
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/8/19