The sefirah of Malchut is unique and different than all the other sefirot in that it requires an “other”. All the other qualities may exist without the existence of an “other”. A person may have desire and intellect without necessitating the existence of an “other”. Even the heartfelt feelings, such as the feelings of kindness or sternness may exist without there being an “other”. This is so, even though the revelation of kindness entails the act of doing kindness to another. Still and all, the originating source of the kindness comes from within the person himself. Even though there may be no one to benefit from his kindness, nonetheless, he himself is a kind person in the very essence of his being. The recipient of the kindness is not the source of his desire to do kindness.
In contrast, by its very essence, the quality of Malchut (Kingship), which is the desire to rule over others, requires the existence of another to rule over. Although in the essence of the soul, there is pleasure in it, nonetheless, the desire for this quality is aroused specifically by “others” outside of himself. This is the meaning of the statement, “There is no king without a nation”, because at its essential core the quality of kingship depends on the sublimation of a People to their king.
This is especially evident by the fact that what causes the quality of Malchut to be aroused and spread forth is the sublimation of the subjects to the king, that they uplift him and accept him as their king. Conversely, if their sublimation to him diminishes, so too does the quality of his kingship. For example, one’s desire to speak is aroused only when there are those who desire to listen to him. If there is no one listening and he feels he is talking to himself, his desire to speak dissipates. Likewise, in regard to kingship, it is specifically the desire of the people to sublimate themselves to him that arouses his desire to be their king.
In contrast, the quality of kindness is not dependent on the recipient of that kindness. This is so, even though there are differences in how the kindness will come out, which are responsive to the recipient. For instance, if the recipient makes his request with a pleading tone of voice he will tend to elicit greater mercies than if he makes his request in a demanding tone of voice etc. Nonetheless, the fundamental desire to do kindness is not at all dependant on the recipient. The giver is kind because he is kind, unrelated to whether or not there is a recipient or how worthy or unworthy he may be. In contrast, a person is not a king because he is a king. What makes him a king is the sublimation of the People to him, as stated above.
However, since in the world there always is an “other”, this concept is not readily observable. In addition it is evident that even a child possesses an essential desire to rule over others. A child, by nature, desires to dominate over all things, even animals. (This desire to rule is unique to Mankind, as opposed to other qualities such as kindness, which may be found in animals as well.) Even so, unlike the other qualities, it is clear that the pleasure and desire to rule specifically relates to something or someone outside of the self. A person may be kind to himself or strict with himself, but he cannot be king over himself, and although he may exercise “control” over himself, this self-control is a function of the quality of Gevurah rather than Malchut.
Now, when it comes to G-d, there is no “other”, as stated, “There is nothing else besides Him”. If so, how can this principle be applied to G-d? There is no “other” over which to rule!
However, it is specifically because of this, that the “building up” of Malchut into a complete stature, which possesses pleasure, desire, intellect and emotions, etc., is only possible if G-d desires that there be something outside of Himself, over which to rule. This was the reason for the first Tzimtzum, which brought about an “Empty place” (Makom Panooy). Its purpose was to bring about something outside of His essence into existence, thus making it possible for Malchut of Ein Sof to rule over it. Furthermore, it is for this purpose that He created the matter of free choice, to make it possible for us to choose to sublimate ourselves to Him, thus arousing His desire for the existence of the world. This is the meaning of the verse, “Your kingdom is the kingdom of all worlds”. G-d’s desire to be king is the source of all worlds, and our desire to sublimate ourselves to His Kingship, is what arouses His desire to be king. Therefore, even before the first Tzimtzum, the motivating factor for the Creation was the possibility of our freely choosing G-d as our king. If we choose G-d, the world has purpose. However, if we, G-d forbid, choose otherwise, the world looses its purpose and G-d no longer desires to create it.
From above we see that Malchut, similar to the other qualities, has an essential existence even before the existence of an “other” but that it is specifically the “other” which enlivens and awakens it. This is why we recite the ten verses of G-d’s Kingship on Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year). By doing so, we accept the Yoke of G-d’s Kingship upon ourselves anew. This reacceptance and renewed sublimation to G-d on our part, awakens the essential desire for kingship in the essence of Ohr Ein Sof before Tzimtzum, and thereby gives continued existence to the world. This is the awakening of Keter of Malchut of Ohr Ein Sof (The Pleasure and Desire for Kingship in the Infinite Light)and is called “Ana Emloch”(I shall be Rule) as explained before.
This pleasure and desire for kingship is the first of the ten sefirot of Malchut. It, therefore, is called Keter Malchut (The Crown of Kingship). As mentioned previously, Malchut corresponds to the faculty of speech and action, because the speech of a king is tantamount to an action. If a king commands something with his mouth, it happens, as stated, “Dvar Melech Shilton (The word of the king rules).