Wherein Shall be Explained Other [Pieces of] Advice [Regarding the] Matter of Shmiras HaLashon
If [one] is a person whose nature it is to be sad, and he fears strengthening himself in this attribute of silence, it being necessary for him to speak of worldly matters for the sake of the health of his body, [though he feels that he must talk to others for the sake of his wellbeing], he should nevertheless accustom himself to not speak about people, whoever they may be. [The above applies with the exception of those who have left [the] society [of the Jewish People] by denying HaShem [and His Torah, or part thereof], and those who mock the words of our Sages of Blessed Memory. Regarding [these people], it is a mitzvah to shame [them], as has been written in sefer “Chofetz Chaim”, in Klal 8, sif 5]. If, at times, it would be necessary for him to speak [to another] about [a given person, the information] should be [relayed] in as few words as possible, and [the person relaying that information] should not speak at length regarding this [person who is the subject of discussion], in order refrain from transgressing [any prohibition related to speech]. Similar [to the above-mentioned advice], I have heard regarding Rabbi Rephael from Hamburg. [It was related] that four years before he passed away, he removed the “yoke” of the rabbinate from upon himself. When people would enter [his house to see him], he requested of them to refrain from speaking about anyone [else while] in his house. Similarly, I have heard about another Gadol HaDor, that he was very careful that no one [would hear him say] the name of any person. All of [these actions undertaken by these Torah leaders were practiced for] the aforementioned reason, [it being essential to limit discussion about other people as much as possible].
 “Gadol HaDor” literally means “Great one of the generation” and refers to the Torah scholars who are the Torah leaders of the generation.