Charity, or loving-kindness, includes all the mitzvot–a mitzvah being no more than a stretching forth of Divine goodness, a form of dissemination, a giving of His plenty from above to below.
Since charity is that giving which goes from the one who has to the one who does not have, the mitzvah is God's way of giving that gift of reality to the world.
God offers it to us. And when we perform a mitzvah, we open the way; we only provide the channel along which the Divine essence can flow.
The mitzvah, in other words, is of another sort of reality; it is not the act itself; it is the flow of Divine Delight through the act.
The act is a vehicle for the mitzvah, a means or vessel for the mitzvah to manifest, just as when someone wishes to receive alms, he has to stretch forth his hand.
He has to have a hand, or whatever, to receive what is given.
So, too, the mitzvah is a vessel to absorb the Divine grace (or charity) that flows into the reality of the world.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Candle of God, p. 32, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz