Reb Shimon was attracted to Rebbe Nachman
on Rebbe Nachman's wedding day, when the Rebbe was only thirteen years old.
Reb Shimon was physically strong and had great presence of mind. It is possible that he was Rebbe Nachman's attendant on the Rebbe's pilgrimage to Israel.
Reb Shimon once asked the Rebbe to use his special abilities to pray on behalf of his child, who was seriously ill. Rebbe Nachman did not respond. That night, Reb Shimon's wife sat next to the child's cradle and prayed with simplicity for the recover of her critically ill son.
The following morning, when the Rebbe saw Reb Shimon, he said, "Do you see how great the power of prayer. The decree that the child would die had already been sealed, yet she, with her prayers, not only won him life, but a long life at that!"
Reb Shimon's son recovered and lived for close to one hundred years.
Despite his business activities, Reb Shimon devoted much of his time to his devotions, especially to hitbodedut. He lived at the edge of town, close to the forest, so that he could go out to pray and meditate there day and night. Once, while alone in hitbodedut, he saw a bear about to attack him. He pulled off his coat, put a knife in his hand, and wrapped the coat around his arm. When the bear attacked and bit his arm, the coat protected the arm, and he killed the bear with the knife.
Reb Shimon wrote his own Torah novella, and Reb Natan
remarked on their brilliance. Although Reb Natan wanted to publish them, Reb Shimon burned them.
After Rebbe Nachman's death, Reb Shimon settled in Tsfat, Israel. Several times, while alone in the field for hitbodedut, he was attacked by Arabs. He died as a result of one of these attacks.
Reb Shimon is buried in the old cemetery of Tsfat.