Harav Baruch Shimon Schneerson was born in Cracow in 5673/1913. His father was Harav Yosef Moshe Schneerson, a grandson of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. His mother, Rebbetzin Nechamah Schneerson, was a tzaddekes in her own right.
Before he was born, his parents went to Rabbi Baruch of Gorlitz to ask for a brachah for healthy children. The tzaddik’s brachah was fulfilled. His father named him Baruch after three holy tzaddikim: Harav Baruch, father of the Baal HaTanya; the Baruch Taam; and Harav Baruch, Rav of Gorlitz. He was named Shimon after his great-grandfather, and after his maternal grandfather, Shimon Alter.
During his early childhood he was taught by the famed Cracow melamed Rabbi Moshe Chassid, zt”l.
Later he went to learn in Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin. Although he took pains to remain unnoticed, within a very short time he stood out as one of the leading bachurim at the yeshivah. The Rosh Yeshivah was especially fond of him, and assigned him to test talmidim entering the yeshivah.
It was during this time that Harav Baruch Shimon received a draft notice from the Polish army. Harav Aharale Kohznitzer gave him a brachah, and miraculously he was not conscripted.
When WWII broke out, Harav Baruch Shimon fled to Russia. For a period of five months he hid in a tiny village. During that entire time he did not stop learning, later commenting on the tremendous amount he covered during that period.
The Russians caught him and threw him into prison for a year and then sent him to Siberia for another year.
After being freed from Siberia, Harav Baruch Shimon made his way to Bukhara, where he met his future father-in-law, the holy Gaon of Tchebin, Harav Dov Berish Wiedenfeld. Harav Baruch Shimon’s engagement took place soon after.
When Russia finally released Polish citizens from its grip, Harav Baruch Shimon boarded an illegal immigrant ship to Eretz Yisrael.
Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he decided not to assume any Rabbinical position but rather to serve Hashem in solitude. However, Gedolei Yisrael, headed by the Belzer Rebbe, asked him to come to the aid of the generation and disseminate Torah.
For a few years Harav Baruch Shimon was Rosh Yeshivah of Chabad, in the city of Lod. In 5717/1957, at the express request of his illustrious father-in-law, he assumed the leadership of Yeshivas Tchebin in Yerushalayim.
At his father-in-law’s behest, he published his chiddushim in Birkas Shimon on Bava Kamma. Over the years he published additional sefarim on Bava Metzia, Bava Basra, Shabbos and Kiddushin. Birkas Shimon on Torah and festivals was published as well.
He was niftar on 25 Sivan 5761.
Zechuso yagen aleinu.