From the book Eliezer Eved Hashem
The next story happened in a very emotional event, testifying like a thousand witnesses how the Rav does not ever consider the discomforts of his body. His intention at every moment and second is only to do the work of Hashem. To serve his Lord is his only thought. He thinks, ‘What does Hashem want me to do for Him right now?’ After the Rav returned to his house in Jerusalem after being away for a long time, there was great excitement. The people that were living in the neighborhood and all of his chassidim and students of the Rav came in big crowds and were surrounding the Rav’s house. They had just one desire. To behold the splendor of his face.
However the Rav, with his strong soul that was made of steel, did not set his heart on any of this. He returned to his chair and his table just as before. He sat down at his desk and returned deep into the Torah and avodas Hashem.…
When the evening almost arrived, at the time of mincha, the gate was opened and the gathering officially began in the hall next door to the Rav’s house. The noise that came from the big crowd around the Rav resembled bees gathering around honey. The crowd requested from the Rav to hear a few words and stories about what happened to him over the past few years. They were longing to hear his stories and words, and to hear every sound that came out of his holy lips.
Although it was exciting, the Rav, who returned to his house from a long and hard time of not being home, closed down his emotions and bent his spirit to do the work of the Creator.
With the beginning of prayers, the Rav acted as chazzan and he prayed with deep feeling, as is his custom every day.
However, in the middle of the excitement, the Rav noticed that the face of one of the visitors was getting pale. So the Rav, being sensitive, understood that the closeness in the room was causing the man to get weak, and that he was almost fainting.
And like the Rav’s way, “the physicality of the individual is my spirituality.” At once the Rav stopped his prayer, and requested that his gabbai pass him a bottle of water. The Rav’s gabbai rushed to give the Rav a bottle of water. And then the Rav moved from his place and poured a glass of water for that Jew whose face was pale, and he urged him to drink so he would not faint, heaven forbid.
This is the way that the Rav upheld the saying: “On three things the world stands. On Torah, on prayer, and on loving-kindness.” From the top of the peak of prayer the Rav’s eye was hunting for the weakness of a simple Jew.
And it looked like it was one of the most exciting and powerful stories that the people who were present in that room could collect for themselves about the Rav returning to his house in Jerusalem, the Holy City.
Translated from the book Eliezer Eved Hashem. To order a copy click here.