Being a student used to not be easy. Not only did one have to invest many years in sitting at the feet of a Sage, often from an early age, not only was one expected to sacrifice the concerns for the self and the diversions of everyday life to the complete preoccupation with toil in Torah - one was also pressed to serve the Rebbi.
R. Joshua b. Levi ruled: All manner of service that a slave must render to his master a student must render to his teacher, except that of taking off his shoe. Raba explained: This ruling applies only to a place where he is not known, but where he is known there can be no objection. R. Ashi said: Even where he is not known the ruling applies only where he does not put on tefillin but where he puts on tefillin, he may well perform such a service. R. Hiyya b. Abba stated in the name of R. Johanan. A man who deprives his student of [the privilege of] attending on him acts as if he had deprived him of [an act of] kindness, for it is said in Scripture, To him that deprives his friend of kindness. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: He also deprives him of the fear of heaven, for it is said in Scripture, And he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. (Kesuvos 96a)
What does it mean to serve a Master? Is it solely a way to advance in Torah?