Malchut feels reward or punishment according to its connection or separation from Bina. Generally two states exist: a good state (the corrected Malchut) and a bad state (the corrupted, shattered Malchut). The whole question is whom does it want to please, where does it find reward and punishment: in its own benefit or the benefit of the other?
It’s one of the two; there are no intermediary states: I either care for myself or for the other. The criterion for reward and punishment corresponds to it: “Do I enjoy or not?” or “Does the other enjoy or not?”
It is clear that in the shattered state reward and punishment are felt only within the shattered Malchut, and in the corrected state they are verified by the Creator. This is the entire difference.
Baal HaSulam writes in Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot), Part 10, “Inner Reflection,” Item 15: The main correction of the world is through reward and punishment. And all reward of the righteous starts from there, meaning from an ascent, from attaching the AHP to Galgalta ve Eynaim. Certainly, the Creator could have created the world with one saying. However, He caused a shattering. What for? It is the meaning of the inclusion of the property of mercy into the property of judgment. Thanks to the shattering, there appeared multitude forms and ways of connection, joining, between Malchut and Bina.
The “one saying” includes ten complete Sefirot , and that’s it. But instead of this, there is a need for various combinations of properties so as “to increase the reward of the righteous.” Now that the evil shattered, egoists appeared, they are capable of becoming righteous. And their reward will be even higher because they, so to speak, “attained their names” in similarity to the Creator. By joining Bina, Malchut assumes its form, and this is the reward for the righteous.
“To attain the sacred names” is to be clothed in them, to be like the Creator in regard to others in one way or another. Thereby I adhere to Him. It’s because a “name” is a form, a manner of bestowal. It is as if I clothe in these garments, become like Him, and this is my reward.
The shattering gave a multitude of aspects to the Creator. It is correct that He created the world with “one saying,” but everything is concealed, closed, bound within these ten Sefirot, impenetrably. Ten Sefirot of Malchut of the world of Infinity or the four phases of the Direct Light don’t give anything. The creature doesn’t exist yet; that is, it cannot manifest or attain.
For a person to truly understand something he has to take on the appropriate form internally, “to clothe” in it. If I understand how an engine runs, it is as if I am within it and feel with my “nerves” all that is happening there. This is true knowledge, true attainment.
Therefore, before the shattering everything was wonderful, except for one thing: The creature didn’t exist yet. It remained motionless at the very bottom of the still level, similar to an angel, meaning a simple force, devoid of the evil inclination and feeling, and totally activated from Above, without any independence. The shattering made it possible for it to acquire various “garments,” “letters,” and “names” of the Creator, different forms of behavior, based on inner opposition to the Creator and external similarity to Him.
This is the reason for the creation of the evil inclination—everything begins from this.…
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/22/2013, TES