The concept of Gemilut Chassadim entails another dimension as well. Just as one is obligated to care for the physical and mental well-being of another, so, too, one must further his spiritual welfare. The mitzvah of "if there be a destitute person among you ... you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his requirement, whatever is lacking to him (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)", is all-comprehensive. The Sages interpret it in the widest possible sense1. This precept thus may be said to cover the realm of the spiritual as well.

To care for the needs of the soul, for the spiritual wants of a fellow-being, is no less a duty than the provision of material necessities. The prophet Isaiah, in explaining the Divine ways and the ordinances of righteousness by means of which a person draws near unto G‑d, enumerates the benevolent acts of Gemilut Chassadim: "to share your bread with the hungry and to bring the cast-out poor to your home; when you see the naked that you cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh (Isaiah 58:7)."

The literal sense of this verse is supplemented with the following interpretation: "The `hungry' refers to one who is famished of Torah, and `bread' refers to the Torah... Hence they said that if there be a person that understands Torah, he is to provide others too from this Torah... How are we to understand when you see the naked that you cover him'? Surely in the sense of when you see a person lacking in the knowledge of Torah, take him to your home and teach him to say the Shema and prayers, teach him daily one verse or one law, and encourage him to observe the mitzvot. For none is `naked' in Israel but he who lacks Torah and mitzvot2."

To guide others and to teach them Torah, thus, is part of the mitzvah of Gemilut Chassadim3. In point of fact, just as to lead someone astray from the path of Torah is worse than harming him physically4, so, too, to care for the spiritual welfare of those in need thereof excels the provision of physical needs5. Of this it is said: "They that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever(Daniel 12:3)6.”