Sefer Chofetz Chaim appendix

 After all the halachos are spelled out, here are some more cases to apply them. Scenario 1: If Reuvain wants to go into business with Shimon and you know that Reuvain is. ad natured in his money dealings, which means he’s not a hard worker because he is lazy and doesn’t put enough effort into his work or because he actively runs businesses, maliciously, and you know this firsthand then you have a right and obligation to tel Shimon about it and advise not to become partners with Reuvain. As long as all the conditions are met. However if Reuvain is just unsuccessful, he has a hard time making money even though he is a hard worker, or he just lost his money in a big business debacle then you can’t inform Shimon and advise him to not become partners with this poor person because success is in the hands of Hashem, and who knows, Hashem might grant Reuvain success with Shimon and they can build a successful business together. But if Shimon goes over to you and asks you about Reuvain then you don’t have to lie because he’s concerned about the situation that he heard about and has a right to be naturally concerned. You just can’t create concerns which aren’t guaranteed concerns in Shimon’s head. If you are concerned that Reuvain is not trustworthy since he lost all his money who says that’s true? He has not list his chezkas kashrus, he is still known to be honest and hard working!? Why is his blood any redder than Shimon’s blood you are causing him to lose an opportunity over a concern that he still might not be successful and will bring Shikon down with him, who says! Even if he has a track record of recently getting help from others and not being able to pay them back, maybe that will change now.. on the contrary Shimon has a chance to fulfill the highest level of tzedaka according to the Shulcham Aruch’s 8 levels of tzedaka in Yoreh Deah 249:6. The highest level is giving a poor person a job or partnering with him in business so that he can make his own money instead of being given free money. The Shulchan Aruch quote a pasuk in Yeshaya 32:17, “And the actions of tzedaka are peace” which teaches us that one cannot be damaged by giving or doing tzedaka to someone else in need. This is to the extent that even when it is close to shmita the Torah still requires you to make loans to the poor at the risk of the loan being annulled by shmita. Certainly anyone else telling a person not to lend to the poor at that time is committing a sin. If the guy was hiding that he is poor and you know otherwise and know that he messed over other people because of his poverty then you can certainly tell Shimon if he inquires but the Chofetz Chaim wasn’t hesitant to allow one to reveal that Reuvain is poor. The Chofetz Chaim ‘s ultimate advice if you are unsure of the exact situation is to just say”I don’t know how to advise you, because I don’t know the situation clearly.”