Question: During the second Babylonian exile, the Persians conquered Babylon and created a vast Persian Empire. It is interesting to know what happened to the Jewish people there.
Baal HaSulam, Shamati, #144, “There Is a Certain People”: “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples.” Haman said that in his view, we will succeed in destroying the Jews because they are separated from one another; hence, our force against them will certainly prevail, as it causes separation between man and God. And the Creator will not help them anyway, since they are separated from Him.
Haman, the embodiment of the egoistic force, put everyone on their knees except Mordechai. Mordechai declared that he was Yehudi [Jewish], from the word Yichud [unity/union], meaning striving to unite with the Creator, and thus refused to obey Haman. Enraged, Haman decided to destroy all the Jews.
Then Queen Esther asks everyone to fast, and the Creator helps them and they win.
What is fasting? And how is it related to connection or separation?
Answer: Fasting is a certain rejection of all the values that people are used to in their lives. This is not the same as on the corporeal level: I am fasting today, so I am refusing to eat or drink.
Fasting means that everything that represents my life becomes absolutely prohibited for me. I see it as completely unnecessary, non-existent; I refuse everything I used to live by, all the values that I held high; I completely distance myself from my previous ideals. I re-evaluate my whole life.
During this time, I must transition to a completely new level of existence. If I were used to enjoying life and all it has to offer, now it is to the contrary, I immerse myself into internal scrutiny: Who am I, what is all this for, etc.? Meaning, I restrict my egoism.
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/8/19