Chabad of the West Side discusses this concept in Parshas Vayechi
Chassidic thought explains that Abraham was the personification of the
Divine attribute of chesed-kindness and love. Isaac, on the other
hand, was the embodiment of the trait of gevurah-strength, which
incorporates awe, judgment and discipline. These traits manifested
themselves in the way Abraham and Isaac served G‑d and the way they
dealt with others. Abraham served G‑d with love; Isaac with awe;
Abraham spread his light outward; Isaac turned inward and
introspective. Abraham showered hospitality and love; Isaac demanded
Chesed and love, Abraham’s attributes, and likewise Isaac’s attribute
of gevurah, while positive and holy when they were manifested through
Abraham and Isaac, can actually be the source of negativity as they
emerge from their source.
To cite a few examples:
Exaggerated kindness to a child or student can often lead to an
atmosphere of permissiveness. Giving alcohol to an alcoholic who
pleads for it may outwardly come through as an act of kindness but it
is just as negative an act as assaulting that person.
The emotion of love, which motivates acts of kindness, can also lead
to immoral behavior.
Indeed, the Talmud states that incest is referred to in the Torah as
chesed. This is explained in the Talmud by referring to Cain and
Abel’s incestuous marriage to their twin sisters through which they
populated the world; an act ultimately forbidden and regarded as
deeply immoral and a heinous crime. Hence, the Talmud says, we can
understand what the Psalmist means when he stated “The world was
created with chesed!”
Chesed is, therefore, necessarily situational. There are times when it
is considered to be the most exalted and cherished aspects of human
personality and at other times it can mark the nadir of depravity.
Thus, our Sages underscore that Yishmael departed from Abraham and
Esau departed from Isaac. Yishmael personified the chesed and love of
Abraham but in its degenerate form and Esau was an extension of
Isaac’s gevurah as he sank into violence. While they inherited their
fathers’ characteristics of chesed and gevurah, respectively, they
channeled them into the realm of evil.