In the same way as it is incumbent on us to listen to the words of the wise men who teach a person the knowledge to understand the statutes and laws of Hashem and what is a correct and straight path that people should follow and the actions that they should do, so too conversely Chazal said that one may not allow one’s ears to hear idle things as the ears are the first of the limbs to be scalded. They also said “Why are one’s fingers like pegs? And why is the ear hard with a soft lobe? So that if he hears something which is not right he should bend the lobe into the ear and put his finger on it so that he cannot listen.
There are many people who are very happy and take great pleasure in listening to the news and there are even people who if they see two other people talking and they do not know about what they are talking or they hear half of it but not the entire conversation their souls almost leave them and they make all sorts of efforts and ways with all of their force to know the subject under discussion and they will not rest or be quiet until they know the topic under discussion. This is all emptiness and waste of breath as it is obvious that if the subject under discussion is something that it is necessary for him to know about they will come to his place in order to tell him, and if there is no reason for him to know about it, what will he gain or achieve by knowing these empty things? A person who has this evil trait will perform many evil things as he forsakes the Torah which is the “source of pure living water” only in order to dig broken pits, to hear words of news and these things will be working against him to mix his mind up during prayer. Also, since he has such a craving to hear the news he will hear all sorts of forbidden speech and if he is silent and does not protest he will be punished as if he himself had said those words. Since his soul has a craving to hear the news he will start to dig into other people’s affairs in order to hear their secrets and to eavesdrop under the window and behind the wall to other people’s secrets and by doing this he is transgressing the prohibition of “You shall not go as a talebearer amongst your people!”.
It follows that it is good for a person not to listen to the sound of whisperers unless they are discussing the Torah and the things will then be remembered and fulfilled and with this he will merit life in the next world in the assembly of holy people.