Chesed ("Kindness"; חסד) is the fourth Sephirah on the tree of life in the Kabbalah of Judaism. It is given the association of kindness and love, and is the first of the emotive attributes of the Sephirot. It sits below Chokhmah, across from Gevurah and above Netzach. It is usually given four paths. To Chokhmah, Gevurah, Tiphereth, and Netzach (some Kabbalists place a path from Chesed to Binah as well.)
The first three of the Ten Sephirot, are the attributes of the "intellect," while Chesed is the first sephira of the attribute of "action."
Chesed translated as kindness is often thought of as being synonymous with niceness, but the connotation of Chesed is much deeper. Chesed can be properly described as an act that has no "cause."
Chesed is proactive -- it is the initiator of interaction, and must therefore be the first in the sephirot of action. Chesed deals with the level of visible, and in the chain of social dynamics is the primary spark that initiates subsequent action.
Chesed is also known as Gedulah (גדולה).