Without going into too many details of each of the gemara’s the Chofetz Chofetz Chaim brought in his Be’er Mayim Chaim, there are a number of lessons that can be derived from these cases where at first glance it seems Rabbanim complained to others that they were personally insulted
- It is very important for the listener to ask “how did this all start” to get a picture of what’s going on and it’s possible that the entire story could change. This is even if the gadol hador, the leader of the generation who is for sure honest is the one complaining, aw we saw with the stories of Rav Anan, in Keubos, who was a rabbi from the time of the gemara who Eliyahu Hanavi even spoke to.
- Various reasons why these cases from various gemaras were not considered lashon hara ranged from the fact that in one case (Kesubos 69a) Rav Anan was just asking advice, from Mar Ukva what could he have done wrong to be insulted in that way by Rav Huna.
Another time (Kesubos 79a) Rav Anan intent was for the sake of the truth to go to Mar Ukva the head of the court to stop Rav Nachman from mistakenly ripping up documents that Rav Anan thought were in fact valid and the point was for Mar Ukva to investigate deeper into the matter. If it’s possible to potentially make peace and judge favorably then it’s a mitzvah to listen to complaints in order to potentially resolve an issue.
Another reason to complain is if you know he won’t listen to your rebuke but he will listen to someone else’s rebuke as we saw (Kiddushin33a) Rebbe Shimon bar Rebbe complain to his father Rebbe how Rebbe Chiya didn’t treat him with proper respect as kavod haTorah would dictate and he knew Rebbe Chiya wouldn’t listen to him, so he asked his father, Rebbe Yehuda HaNasi, the leader of the generation to rebuke Rebbe Chiya.
It’s also possible in certain circumstances to believe honest rabbis since they are like witnesses and then rebuke the perpetrator as we saw in Bechoros 30a.
3. Bottom line we have no proof that you are allowed to tell others of someone who accosted you personally in whatever way if it won’t amount to anything productive, but we have proofs that it is forbidden. The clearest example in conclusion was from Gitten 7a where Mar Ukva, the head if the court approached Rebbe Eliezer for advice of what to do about certain people who were threatening him and he had the power to turn them over to the non-Jewish authorities but he didn’t tell Rebbe Eliezer their names because he didn’t need to know them because Mar Ukva knew he could take care of the problem himself once he got the advice what to do. So, in this circumstance where re his life might have been in danger, he still didn’t spill any names then one must be very careful to not say anything wrong in these types of circumstances.