It can be summed up as follows:
"...the proper way to use a tongue is primarily by not using it."
According to Rav Miller and the commentaries he expounds on, you need to actively produce silence.
But you can't be a jerk about it.
Rav Miller emphasizes the need to work on your own silence and not by silencing others.
Rav Miller explains tzaraat in a very interesting way and the whole exploration on silence is actually very interesting.
Also, in direct contrast to modern psychology, Rav Miller insists that remaining silent is good for your health. He even gives examples of people who verbally battled difficult family members and then went blind or dropped dead.
So that's a big chiddush for some of us.
Also, Rav Miller mentions a few times he remained silent in the face of a big challenge.
Let’s say somebody calls you on the telephone and insults you. It happened to me a number of times.
People have called the house and cursed me.
You know what I did? I didn’t say a word! Not a word! And they hung up.
It happened again a few months ago and I knew who it was; I knew.
And after that he came into my shul one evening to daven and I didn’t say a word. And it was finished.
But once you start up with these people, who knows what's going to be? A word for a word and it turns into who knows what! There’s no knowing how it’s going to end up!
So just grin and bear it.
But this one really got me:
In my first position in rabbanus, a man once came into a meeting of the board of directors and he made a grand announcement: He said, “Rabbi Miller, I greeted you last week and you didn’t answer me! You didn’t answer me ‘Good Shabbos'.”
He brought it up to the board of directors at a meeting; a complaint against the new rabbi.
So the president of the shul came over and asked me about it.
Now, it wasn’t true, but I didn’t say anything. I could have opened my mouth, but I remembered this ma’amar Chazal and I kept my mouth closed.
It's not fair! It's mamash a LIE and now everybody is going to hate me - that's how I think.
I have a really hard time not defending myself in such a black-and-white situation, especially when it's publicized in a group like that. I mean, I could see remaining silent during a rude phonecall...but this?
I DID answer you Good Shabbos, you manipulative little liar. Okay, I wouldn't actually verbalize the name-calling going on in my head, but I certainly would assert the truth of the matter.
But Rav Miller is more mature and on a much higher spiritual level than me, so that's why I try to follow his lead and not my own.
(Interestingly, this exact same fake complainer ended being the one to later demand a raise for Rav Miller, something Rav Miller hadn't requested. So keeping silent can really pay off in This World too.)
"...their minds are being ground to pieces by the idle chatter..."
So there's a lot there, and all written up in a very interesting, compelling, and readable manner.
Parshas Tazria: Silence is Golden
BTW, you can also receive Rav Avigdor Miller's dvar Torah directly to your email each week by sending an email to Toras Avigdor's Google Group (in the teal rectangle at the bottom of the page):
You can also email them at email@example.com and they will be happy to add you manually. (That's what I did.)
(And no, they didn't ask me to do this. They didn't even hint!)
And as always, thank you to Toras Avigdor for letting me quote from their material.