Image: Pages of a contract are held together with a lock and key. The artist titled it “Binding Contract.” (stevepb/pixabay)
Strange word, “Commit.” According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, it means “to carry into action deliberately,” and also “to obligate, or bind.”
Hebrew separates those two meanings into two different words:
Levatze’a means “to perform, to carry out, to execute.”
L’kha’yev means “to compel, to bind, to oblige.”
L’kha’yev is the verb the rabbis use to talk about the positive commandments, the “Thou shalts.” For example, a Jew is obligated – committed! – to be honest in business.
In English, the combination of the two meanings in the one word offers us a pun:
When I commit a sin, to what or to whom am I committing myself?