Earlier on, in ch. 4, the Alter Rebbe explained that the supernal attributes of chesed and gevurah—the former finding expression in the diffusion of the Divine life-force that creates and animates created beings and the latter finding expression in the obscuring of this life-force from them (so that they conceive of themselves as independently existing beings)—both possess one source. He explained there that since these two attributes are essentially one, the tzimtzum of gevurah does not truly conceal, for “an entity cannot conceal its own self.”

All this applies to chesed and gevurah in the state in which they are found within their source. One might, however, think that in their revealed state (whether in a sefirah or in a mortal middah or attribute), they are indeed two separate and opposite entities—revelation and concealment, respectively.

The Alter Rebbe therefore goes on to say in this chapter that even when these attributes are revealed, they are still in a state of hitkalelut, mutual incorporation, and both serve to bring about one result—a physical world with corporeal creatures. Were the Divine life-force to be revealed within these creatures, they would be completely nullified within their source; there would be no such thing as created beings.

Thus, the ultimate purpose of the tzimtzum brought about by gevurah is also motivated by chesed, for this concealment makes creation possible. Gevurah and chesed are thus joined in a state of mutual incorporation.

What makes this fusion possible is the fact that they are both united with the light of the Ein Sof. Hence, even when they are in a revealed state and appear to be two disparate entities, they are essentially one.

Now, the Name Elokim is the Name which indicates the attribute of gevurah and tzimtzum;

וְהִנֵּה, שֵׁם "אֱלֹהִים", הוּא שֵׁם מִדַּת הַגְּבוּרָה וְהַצִּמְצוּם,

Each of G-d’s Names denotes a particular Divine attribute. The Name pronounced Keil, for example, indicates the attribute of chesed, as in the verse,1 “The kindness of Keil endures throughout the day.” Likewise, the Name that indicates the attribute of gevurah or tzimtzum is Elokim; i.e., when the light of the Ein Sof garbs itself in the attribute of gevurah to bring about its own tzimtzum and concealment, it is known by the Name Elokim.

hence, it is also numerically equal to hateva (“nature”), which equals 86,

וְלָכֵן הוּא גַּם כֵּן בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא "הַטֶּבַע",

“Nature” signifies the ordered way of the world. Because of its repetitiveness, people become accustomed to it, and it arouses no sense of wonder. No thought is given to the Divine power and life-force which is concealed in those things, which have an established order and are repeated constantly.

for it (the Divine Name Elokim) conceals the supernal light that brings the world into existence and gives it life,

לְפִי שֶׁמַּסְתִּיר הָאוֹר שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה – הַמְהַוֶּה וּמְחַיֶּה הָעוֹלָם,

The supernal light constantly creates the world ex nihilo—a feat more wondrous than the Splitting of the Red Sea. The Divine Name Elokim, however, conceals this light so that it will not be visible to created beings,

and it appears as though the world exists—without having to be constantly renewed, as if permanently programmed—and is conducted according to the laws of nature, independently of any supernatural influence.

וְנִרְאֶה, כְּאִילּוּ הָעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד וּמִתְנַהֵג בְּדֶרֶךְ הַטֶּבַע.

Thus, even those things which are observed to undergo some degree of renewal are also perceived as “the way of nature,” inasmuch as they follow these seemingly immutable laws.

Chasidut explains that the word טֶבַע (“nature”) has a number of meanings, including “entrenched” and “submerged.” This means that the laws of nature are so “entrenched” in creation that it is difficult to detect the ongoing process of its renewal. Additionally, just as a submerged object is completely concealed by water, so, too, is the Divine life-force utterly “submerged” and concealed within created beings.

And this Name Elokim, not as it exists in its supernal source but as it acts through the attribute of gevurah so that the world appears to be conducted in a natural manner

וְשֵׁם "אֱלֹהִים" זֶה,

is a shield and a sheath for the Name Havayah,

הוּא מָגֵן וְנַרְתֵּק לְשֵׁם הֲוָיָ"ה,

The Divine Name Havayah—as mentioned earlier in explanation of the verse, “For a sun and a shield is Havayah Elokim”—is like the illuminating sun while the Name Elokim conceals its light, as does the sun’s shield, thereby enabling created beings to benefit from it.

concealing the light and life-force that flows from the Name Havayah and brings creation into existence from naught, this being the purpose of Havayah, the Name itself meaning “to bring into existence.” This light and life-force is concealed by Elokim,

לְהַעֲלִים הָאוֹר וְהַחַיּוּת הַנִּמְשָׁךְ מִשֵּׁם הֲוָיָ"ה וּמְהַוֶּה מֵאַיִן לְיֵשׁ,

so that it should not be revealed to the creatures, which would thereby become absolutely nullified.

שֶׁלֹּא יִתְגַּלֶּה לַנִּבְרָאִים וִיבָּטְלוּ בִּמְצִיאוּת.

Since it is only through the concealment effected by the Name Elokim that created beings are able to exist:

The quality of this2 gevurah and tzimtzum is also an aspect of chesed, through which the world is built.

וַהֲרֵי – בְּחִינַת גְּבוּרָה זוֹ וְצִמְצוּם הַזֶּה, הוּא גַם כֵּן בְּחִינַת חֶסֶד שֶׁהָעוֹלָם יִבָּנֶה בּוֹ,

This is an allusion to the verse that states: “For I declared that the world be built through [the attribute of] chesed.”3 For inasmuch as the world could not possibly have been created without the tzimtzum and concealment afforded by the Divine Name Elokim, it follows that the ultimate intent of this tzimtzum is actually chesed.

And this is the quality of gevurah which is included in chesed.4

וְזוֹ הִיא בְּחִינַת גְּבוּרָה הַכְּלוּלָה בְּחֶסֶד.

I.e., this is a form of gevurah through which an act of chesed is accomplished. As such, it is included within chesed.5