This is the seventh installation of our ongoing series on shemiras halashon by Mrs. Tova Younger.
Have a topic in your back pocket all the time and be prepared to change the subject if it turns to lashon hara (improper speech). I once saw a funny suggestion: spill your drink or food at an event if necessary; it’s a great way to divert everyone’s attention! Of course, this would be a last resort, but we must remember that shemiras halashon (proper speech) is a halacha (law) which we must keep with the same level of urgency as any of the mitzvos. Since there are thirty one references to the laws of proper speech in the Torah, each word can generate several transgressions. Do the math: even a short conversation containing lashon hara can be VERY expensive.