Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Vayeilech – Yom Kippur 5779
How can we confess—in viduiy—to sins which we are quite sure we haven’t committed?
The Rambam answers this: Every aveirah listed is only a category which includes offshoots and derivatives. For example, “immorality” would include improper thoughts: inappropriate reading; improper viewing; over-familiarity with the opposite gender. Stealing includes any form of dishonesty, especially monetary. Chillul Shabbos would include anything done not in the Shabbos spirit (and many times this is even technically assur).
Also, many times we have been negligent in influencing others to the good; we are then held somewhat responsible for their sins—they are ours as well.
Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Nitzavim 5778 – Rosh Hashanah 5779
It is customary [for men] to be toivel in a kosher mikvah on Erev Rosh Hashana, regardless if they are impure or not, in order to spiritually purify themselves in preparation for the holy day. (Rama Siman 581:4)
The accepted custom is to immerse in the mikvah three times to signify the 3 times it says the word “Tahara” (purity) in the pasuk (Yechezkael 36:25): “V’Zarakti Aleichem Mayim Tehorim U’Tehartem MiKol Tumoseichem U’Mikol Giluleichem A’Taher Eschem” (“[Hashem says] I will sprinkle purified water upon you, and purify you from all your impurities; and from all your filthiness I will purify you”) (See Mateh Ephraim Siman 581:53 )
There are other minhagim regarding how many times to immerse; if you don’t have an established personal custom regarding this, do it three times.
The earliest time for going to the Mikvah is an hour before chatzos (Chatzos is approximately 12:37pm this year). (Mishna Berura Siman 581:26)
Shabbos Bulletin Rosh Hashanah and Parshas Haazinu 5778
The Shulchan Aruch states that on RH and YK the custom is to daven (meaning Shemoneh Esrai) in a loud voice (to have more kavana). The MB adds: “but not too loud. And we are not afraid (with the ‘normal’ loud) that other mispallelim will become confused, because most people have machzorim.”
But the Matteh Efrayim states that many Gedolim were against the minhag of davening (Shemoneh Esrai) loudly, and it is better to daven in a whisper (loud enough to just be able to hear oneself), similar to the rest of the year. Perhaps a bit of a louder whisper for more kavanah, but not enough that your neighbor can hear you. The Shelah writes similarly.
Common custom seems to be like the Matteh Efrayim, but one should not protest someone who davens loudly. If it is really disturbing (not just that you are not used to someone doing that, so it sounds funny to you), talk to them after davening.