Rabbi Yosef Rosen, born in 5618 (1858), and raised in the Belarusian city of Rogatchov, served for decades as a rabbi in the Latvian city of Dvinsk (Daugavpils).
His father, Fishel Rosen, was a well-known and respected Lubavitcher Chassid. At the age of five he was taken by his father to see the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, who instructed him to learn Maseches Nazir.
The Rogatchover Gaon рad close ties with the Rebbe Rashab, the Rebbe Rayatz and the Rebbe.
He has been described as the foremost Talmudic genius of his time. He was known as a gaon (genius) because of his photographic memory and tendency to connect sources from the Talmud to seemingly unrelated situations. He often demonstrated that many of the famous debates between the Talmudic sages have a singular theme.
Rabbi Rosen authored tens of thousands of responsa on the Talmud and Jewish law. Many of them have been compiled in the ‘Tzafnat Paneach’ series of books.