This week’s Torah reading begins: Zos Chukas HaTorah, “This is the statute of the Torah,” establishing a connection between the type of mitzvos called chukim and the entire Torah. The root for the word, chukim, means “engrave.” Engraving involves strenuous labor. This is the first key to our commitment to the Torah. In order to make the Divine potential each of us possesses grow and blossom, an investment of hard work must be made.

A further lesson from the word chukim can be appreciated by a comparison between writing and engraving. When one writes, the surface upon which one writes and the ink which one uses remain two separate entities. When, by contrast, letters are engraved in stone, the writing and the stone form a single entity; they are inseparable.

This points to the importance of internalizing the Torah, making its teachings part of one’s own being. There is an advantage to compelling oneself to observe the Torah even when doing so runs contrary to one’s nature. But the deepest commitment to G‑d’s service involves remaking one’s nature to reflect His will.

Chukim thus teach that a person and the Torah should not be separate entities, but rather a single whole. This approach leads to true growth, for one proceeds beyond the limited vistas of his own perception, and enters the unlimited horizons to which the Torah introduces him.

The above leads to a third interpretation of chukim: that the term refers to the dimensions of Torah which surpass our understanding. As a person develops his commitment to the Torah, he grows to the awareness that its every facet, even those which appear to be within the grasp of mortal intellect, is in fact unbounded. For the Torah is G‑d’s wisdom, and “just as it is impossible for a created being to comprehend his Creator, so too, it is impossible to comprehend His attributes.” “He is the Knower… and He is the Knowledge itself. All is one.”