Question: During the destruction of the Second Temple, unfounded hatred appeared between the students of Rabbi Akiva, and all 24,000 of them died because of this. Is this an allegory or not?
Answer: No, they really died. Rabbi Akiva taught them the law of love your neighbor, but they could not stay in it.
Such egoism flared up between them that they began to make selfish calculations relative to each other. Of course, their condition cannot be compared with the current state between believers. These were people of a completely different type—great people. But egoism at their level manifested itself so much that they led themselves to death.
Question: Can it be said that, as a result of this hatred, the Bar Kochba rebellion was crushed, and therefore the people could not restore independence?
Answer: Naturally. These were the greatest people of that era, the spiritual representatives of the people. If their spirit fell down to hatred, then the people had no opportunity to exist further.
Remark: The most interesting thing is that unfounded hatred arises precisely among those who should engage in unification and spread the spiritual ideology of the people. Hatred has always manifested itself between kings, priests, between the elite, between the sages, not among the common people.
My Comment: Yes, ordinary people did not really participate in this.
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/8/19