Benzion Borukhov was born in 1920 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. His father, Rabbi Mani Itzhak Borukhov (1888-1977) a leading religious figure of the Bukharan Jews, was close to the Chabad Hasidim. He served as a rabbi first in Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan, then in Tashkent. Like his seven siblings, Benzion received a solid religious education in his youth. Later he graduated from a teachers' institute and worked as a schoolteacher.
Benzion Borukhov was drafted into the Red Army in 1940. His military specialty was communications. With the beginning of Operation Barbarossa war in June 1941, he was assigned to take part in the defense of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He remained on this front until the end of his service. During his first frontline winter in 1941-42, Benzion suffered frostbite, and the toes of one of his feet were amputated. Nevertheless, Borukhov remained in active service. He was wounded twice, in the winter of 1942 and in the winter of 1943; in both cases, he spent a long time in hospital before returning to his unit.
Benzion prayed when he could, but did not observe the other commandments, because, as he said in an interview, that reality did not permit him to do so. There were two other Bukharan Jews in his unit and the three of them helped each other. According to him, they knew about the fate of European Jews under Nazi rule.
Sometime in 1943 or at the beginning of 1944, Benzion suffered a contusion and was released from army service. During the following years, he continued to suffer. For example, he had difficulty sleeping. Furthermore, he began to drink. Unable to return to his former profession of schoolteacher, he worked as a trainman. Eventually, he overcame his drinking problem, married, and worked as a cobbler.
Bentsion's father Mani Itzhak Borukhov was arrested in 1947 and sent to a prison camp. After Stalin's death he was released from the camp and politically rehabilitated. In 1964 Mani Itzhak immigrated to Israel; in 1973 he was followed there by Benzion and his family.