Chesed is the active, giving, aspect of God. Chesed emanates from Chokhmah (Wisdom) on the “right side” of the Tree of Life.  

Terms that Chesed is associated with are: Mercy, Grace, Love of God, right arm of God, the color white, pro-activeness, ‘force,” the name EL, and Abraham. Also called “gedulah.”

Being the first of the middot (lower seven Sefirot), Chesed is the most proactive. It is not only first in terms of hierarchy, but also in that it has nothing “causing it.”

It is the first cause from creation: 

The world is built with chesed. (Psalms 89:3)

Chesed is the Sefirah of emotion extended outward or toward. It functions on the (right) pillar of expansion. When we feel like moving toward something, we are activating Chesed. This positive phase of being is to expand. That is why one of the alternate names for Chesed is Gedulah — greatness.

Of the three Patriarchs, Abraham embodied the quality of chesed, as the verse states,

Give … chesed to Abraham.  (Micah 7:20).

Abraham is the model of being proactive. He searched for and discovered G-d on his own, while rejecting the idolatry of his contemporaries. Abraham did not allow his environment to dictate his choices. Born at a time when idolatry ruled everywhere, his own father Terah made a thriving business of selling idols.

Abraham is recognized as having the quality of unlimited chesed. He proactively sought out people to help. He never questioned G-d’s ways, even when things seemed quite the opposite of what he might have expected. For example, G-d had told him to leave his birthplace and father’s home, promising to make him great and blessed. Yet, as soon as he came to the land of Canaan, there was a great famine. Abraham himself suffered privation, derision and persecution. But he never questioned G-d’s promises, realizing that it must all be a test of his faith in G-d.


Morpheus, more than any of the other characters, exhibits an abundance of attributes of the Chesed. His driving force is ‘belief’ – one largely based in a prophecy. The “force” of his actions, coming from the boundless quality of mercy of the right, are based on ideas that do not require the “form” demanded of things from the left:

Commander Lock: Dammit, Morpheus. Not everyone believes what you believe. 
Morpheus: My beliefs do not require them to. 

As with Abraham, in Morpheus’ system of ‘belief,’ details are less critical, but trust is imperative:

Morpheus: Given your situation, I can’t say I fully understand your reasons for volunteering to operate on my ship. However, if you wish to continue to do so, I must ask you to do one thing. 
Link: What’s that, sir? 
Morpheus: …To trust me.

From the onset of the first movie, Morpheus speaks of the past; the beginning of the man-machine conflict, the creation of the Matrix, the search for The One, etc. This aspect of the “past” is based in the upper emanation of Chokmah/Wisdom which is above Chesed on the right side of the Tree of Life. 

Morpheus also spoke of the first “One” who began the movement to free those within the Matrix, in terms that could easily be applied to Abraham (especially if one considers the idea that the he (and Sarah) brought many souls to G-d:

Morpheus : When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was he who freed the first of us, taught us the truth: ‘As long as the Matrix exists, the human race will never be free.’ After he died, the Oracle prophesied his return, and that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix, end the war, bring freedom to our people.”

(Interestingly, Sefer Yetzirah, considered to be a text that discusses manipulation of matters affecting this world, is attributed to Abraham.)

Compare Morpheus’ words above regarding the “active force of change,” to this description of Abraham:

“Avram was chosen by G-d because of his defiant character. Yet, it was this same character trait that brought Avram into direct political and social opposition with the powers in his day. Avram was a man who stood up against injustice. He was the first to be defined as a hero. Long before Benjamin Franklin coined the words, “rebellion against tyrants is obedience to G-d,” Avram lived this. Avram fought tirelessly against the ruthless oppressive government of the evil Nimrod, who Torah records was the first “mind-controlling” dictator. In this battle against oppressive government and imposed idolatrous religion, Avram lost his brother, who was murdered by the government authorities for having followed Avram. As a single man, leader of a small band, there was not much he could do to change the system from within, therefore by Divine command, Avram removed himself from the corruption of his society and went to what was in his days the hinterlands, the then equivalent of the wild wild west, the land of Canaan. It was there that he could live in peace and build his movement. And this is exactly what he did.”  (From Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok –

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