Following a large levaya Professor Avrohom Yitzchok
HaKohen Radkowsky z'l, who passed away at the age of
87, was buried in Bnei Brak last week.
Dr. Radkowsky was in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 5675 (1915).
Since there were no Torah-based schools in his hometown he
was taught by private instructors until he began his studies
at Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchonon in New York City.
After World War II he completed his studies in physics,
married Chanah Eisenberg and settled in Washington D.C.,
where he served as Chief Scientist of the U.S. Navy's nuclear
reactor department. A group of observant scientists organized
shiurei Torah, and on one occasion even hosted HaRav
Kahaneman of Ponevezh when he came for an overnight visit to
the city. Dr. Radkowsky was one of the prominent members of
what was then known as the Summit Hill Congregation.
Dr. Radkowsky devised a brilliant innovation that extended
the lifespan of nuclear reactors in the navy's fleet from
several months to twelve years. His invention made an
important contribution to naval operations and earned him a
special award and a medal of honor from the U.S.
Despite his professional obligations he was a great
masmid in his Torah studies. Many recalled seeing him
absorbed in the pages of a gemora while waiting for
conferences to begin. He completed all of Shas at
least four times and in his latter years began studying the
Yerushalmi. He was also very conversant with
halocho lema'aseh and especially the Mishnah
At the peak of his scientific career he decided to move to
Eretz Yisroel in order to be able to perform bircas
kohanim every day. For seventeen years he trekked to the
Lederman shul every Shabbos and to daven with
the Steipler zt'l, and after his petiroh with
his son ylct"a HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.
He was also on close terms with many other Torah giants,
including HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, consulting them
on every matter. When Dr. Radkowsky was sitting shiva
for his mother a"h, HaRav Yaakov Kanievsky zt'l
paid him a condolence call. Dr. Radkowsky was very upset,
saying, "I'm not worthy for the Steipler to take the trouble
to come console me in my home."
Dr. Radkowsky made significant contributions towards the
expansion and renovation of Lederman Shul. He had the merit
of bringing in a new sefer Torah written le'ilui
nishmas the Steipler and funded the purchase of a special
carpet from the netilas yodayim sink outside in to the
duchan based on the Mishnah Berurah, which says
it is not fitting for the kohanim to remove their
shoes inside the beis knesses.
Dr. Radkowsky was noted for his exceptional middos. He
was modest, amiable and constantly tried to help others,
encouraging them in deed or with a warm expression. He knew
how to speak with people of all ages simply and without
Recently his health began to decline and last week he
returned his soul to his Maker. The levaya set out
from his home in the Ramat Chen neighborhood, where moving
hespeidim were delivered by his son-in-law, HaRav
Binyomin Chukas, HaRav Y. Zilberstein and HaRav Moshe Ariel.
At the cemetery he was eulogized by HaRav Y. Drori and HaRav
He is survived by his wife, his daughter and son-in-law HaRav
Binyomin Chukas, and grandchildren who are realizing his
aspirations by following in his footsteps, leading lives of
Torah and yirah.