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I'm looking for two specific sources related to this topic.

  1. where is it written that when the Jews were all "keeping TORAH" but didn't have Ahavat Yisrael, they lost all battles.

  2. where is it written that when the Jews were all idolaters (but i think that this wasn't all the Jews, just the kingdom of israel) but they had Ahavat Yisrael and won every battle.

My details are probably a little off.

  • Related to #1, there's the story of Rabbi Avika's students, who were tremendous scholars but did not have proper Ahavat Yisrael. 24000 of them died during the sefira period. – Scimonster Feb 28 '16 at 14:45
  • This isn't what I was looking for but it does fall under the same category, G-D bless you – Mishlei Mar 1 '16 at 14:18
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I think the sources you are referring to are:

  • Yerushalmi Pe'ah, 1, 1
  • Bemidbar Rabbah 19, 1
  • Midrash Tanchuma Bemidbar, 19, 4
  • Devarim Rabbah 5, 10

    Here's an example from the Yerushalmi (they're all similar, but the Devarim Rabbah source says "Saul's generation", not David's):

    אמר רבי אבא בר כהנא דורו של דוד כולם צדיקים היו וע"י שהיה להן דילטורים היו יוצאים במלחמה והיו נופלים...‏
    אבל דורו של אחאב עובדי ע"ז היו וע"י שלא היה להן דילטורין היו יורדים למלחמה ונוצחין...‏

    Loose translation: Said R' Abba bar Kahana: David's whole generation was righteous, but since there were people who spoke lashon hara they would go to war and be defeated...
    But Ahab's generation were idolators, and since there weren't people who spoke lashon hara, they would go to war and win.

  • This is more along the lines of what I was looking for, G-D bless you. – Mishlei Mar 1 '16 at 14:19

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