||Lament over the passing of R. Rozin (Rosen) and announcing that there will be eulogies on Thursday, 18b Adar 636 (March 12, 1936) at 5:00 P.M. at Yeshivat Me’ah She’arim. The broadsheet is bears the names of leading contemporary rabbis, among them R. Zevi Pesah Frank, (1873–1960), R. Isser Zalman Meltzer (1870–1953), and R. Jacob Moses Harlap (1883–1951).
R. Joseph Rozin (Rosen), (1858–1936), Polish talmudic genius, called “the Rogachover” after his birthplace (Rogachov). His erudition and profundity were phenomenal. It is said that when he was eight years old, the local scholars felt incompetent to teach him, for he knew the whole of the talmudic order of Nezikin with its commentaries. When he was 13, his father took him to Slutsk where R. J. B. Soloveichik taught him together with his own son Hayyim. From there he went to Shklov, where he frequented the court of the hasidic rabbi of Kapost, of Habad. He spent the next eight years studying in Warsaw. In 1889 he was appointed rabbi of the hasidic community of Dvinsk. During World War I, as the German army drew near, he fled to St. Petersburg [later Leningrad], where he remained as rabbi of the hasidic community for ten years, thereafter returning to Dvinsk.
R. Rozin possessed a phenomenal encyclopedic knowledge and great powers of industry. He knew the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmuds, all the tannaitic and amoraic literature, and most early books without needing to consult them. He visited Rogachov annually on the anniversary of his father’s death, on one occasion remarking that he had studied half of the Talmud during his journey there and would complete it on the return journey. He was a prolific correspondent and encouraged correspondents to send him their problems. He answered without any effort all who wrote to him on any topic, and thousands of his letters are extant. His ability to find sources in the Talmud was extraordinary. When he found a source for a custom in the Talmud he practiced it, but not otherwise. He traced to the Talmud the philosophical ideas of Maimonides and the latest discoveries of science. Because of this, great scientists enjoyed conversing with him. His remarkable knowledge of philosophy and science is revealed in his commentary on the Pentateuch. He possessed a keen critical sense and when what purported to be the lost text of the Jerusalem Talmud on Kodashim appeared, his insight recognized it for the forgery it proved to be. Though one of the greatest scholars of any age, he was essentially a humble man; courteous, striving to see things from the other man’s point of view.