One of Manhattan’s 3 Remaining Judaica Stores is Closing - JMORELevine Books and Judaica refuses to define literature. A story? There are thousands of interpretations and definitions of literature, but what they all boil down to is a superior collection worthy of being treasured. The importance of this concept, Williams writes, is priority. Priority in this sense is the things that we place above others in importance.
Requiem For A Bookstore
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The square lettering was unabashedly simple, proudly colored in Zionistic white and blue. Though the text was concise — J. Levine Books and Judaica, since — the sign spoke volumes: here was a store that knew where it came from and what it stood for. The shop, located on a humming Midtown block, displayed another, smaller sign — this one sobering. Seventy percent off, it read. Store closing.
The 30 or so regulars in the weekday Mincha service in the back aisles of J.
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Levine Books and Judaica is an independent bookstore located in Midtown Manhattan. Levine is a fifth-generation family business and one of the oldest standing Judaica stores in United States since it opened in The business was founded in in Vilkomir , Lithuania ,  where sofer Hirsch Landy began selling the Torah scrolls he produced. In , he immigrated to the United States and continued the business as a pushcart on the Lower East Side. In , his son-in-law Joseph Levine incorporated and expanded the business to selling synagogue vestments, and his sons Harold, Melvin and Seymour Levine continued the business. Levine expanded to its current location in Midtown Manhattan, where it offers books, menorahs, and various Judaica,  including gifts and children's games and toys that are popular during Hanukkah. Like many traditional booksellers, the store saw a decrease in sales in the first few years of the s, as Amazon.
It has been passed down through four generations of Levines — which is no small feat, as Danny Levine, the current president, points out. The store is narrow and brimming with merchandise: Thick, gold-lettered prayer books sit opposite stuffed blue Torahs for children; Kosher Kurls conditioner is displayed near cases for mezuzas, the small parchments that protect the home. Customers come to J. Levine to buy the objects that make a Jewish life, whether at home or in public. A returning shopper, Bruce Levin, reminisced about how, in , his company had a huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree for the holidays, but only a diminutive menorah without lights. The maintenance team was perplexed as to how to level the playing field. Levin said.