I have a question regarding the old testament. As a Roman Catholic, I was taught that God gave Moses the ten commandments on Mt. Sinai. It is my understanding that Judaism teaches that G_d gave Moses the ten commandments, as well as the Torah (including 613 additional commandments) on Mt. Sinai. Do Catholics know about the additional 613 commandments (mitzvahs)? If we know about them, do we choose to ignore them? Please help me to understand.
Now about your question about the observance of the 613 additional commandments (mitzvot). Jesus himself answers you.
You can imagine that having so many commandments the Rabbis were wont to have many debates about what was the first and most important of all. So it was in Jesus’ times too.
Mt 22:34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they gathered themselves together.
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
37 And He said to him, "‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
38 "This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 "The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
40 "On these two commandments depend the WHOLE Law AND the Prophets."
Remember the Transfiguration of the Lord. Moses and Elisha appeared with him representing the Law and the Prophets that would be accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This is a wonderful answer. Every Jew recites daily the Sh’ma Ysreal, Adonai elohenu, Adonai ehad… Jesus resumes the whole bible, the whole story of salvation in one simple commandment.
There are nowadays many Catholic families here who teach their children to recite the Sh’ma every morning and every night in this formula of Jesus adding to the Jewish formula of Dt 6: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." If there are Neocatechumenal communities near I would suggest you approach them. They are Catholic communities and they want to learn how to live like that. Perhaps this can help you too in order to come back to God our Lord who has revealed Himself in Christ to whom be the glory and the power forever.
PS.As you may have noticed I like very much the study of the OT, the Rabbis and the Jewish traditions because they are our roots. Particularly I like the Midrashim because they maintain the spirit of the Thora’s profound interpretation. I’m even trying to recover Hebrew I learned 40 years ago.
PSS. I'm sorry. I pushed to hard and to far. But even so look into your heart and ask yourself if it's this what G_d is trying to tell you even it's disguised by a pushy priest from Peru.