Ariel Sokolovsky notes in an email that Chabad of Oregon has officially disassociated itself from Sokolovsky and his websites. Interesting is the language used by Chabad:
We of Chabad-Lubavitch of Oregon were shocked to read about the beliefs of Ariel Sokolovsky in the Haaretz Newspaper. His beliefs are heretical and anathema to Torah.
Ariel Sokolovsky has no position in the Chabad Lubavitch movement. He is not a rabbi certified by our movement. He cannot possibly be described as a Chabad activist. He acts in numerous ways in complete contradiction of the Shulchan Aruch - The Code of Jewish Law.
His blasphemous blog is his own private initiative, just as the concubine blog that advocates ideas inimical to Torah and Jewish Tradition. His blog is not part of the Chabad web system. The statement by Haaretz that it is a Chabad website is false.
We strongly protest any assertion that he has any connection to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm
Chabad-Lubavitch of Oregon
The article that got Ariel into trouble (this time) highlights the beliefs of rank-and-file Chabad followers, including yeshiva students, many of whom have difficulty making a distinction between the Rebbe and God. Their confusion stems from years of Chabad teachings, going back at least until 1950 and the behavior of Menachem Mendel Schneerson immediately after the passing of the 6th rebbe. The Rebbe wrote that the 6th rebbe was and remained after his passing :
"The essence and being of God clothed in a physical body."
I remember seeing this quote in Jerusalem immediately after the Rebbe's passing. I was shocked. I learned the entire essay it came from and became even more upset. The concept would appear to be foreign to Judaism. But Chabad follower after Chabad follower assured me that the Rebbe was just that, God clothed in a body.
He was the most perfect man who had ever or would ever live. The Rebbe, I was assured, knows our thoughts. He watches over all of us. He is equally aware of an event happening in Moscow as he his of one taking place in Cape Town or New York, even if they take place at the exact same moment in time.
The difference between the Rebbe and God? Most hasidim then knew there was a difference, but they could not articulate it. Some, however, saw no difference – God and the Rebbe were one and the same.
This is the milieu that Ariel Sokolovsky lived in. It where he learned his Judaism. Sokolovsky is not an employee of Chabad, but he is, nonetheless, a product of Chabad and of Mendel Schneerson.
The Rebbe instructed his followers to make their homes – all of them – into Chabad Houses. It became the fashion to have a small plaque reading "Beit Chabad" mounted on one's front door. This was was done by rabbis and by non-clergy, by Chabad employees and by regular working stiffs, all over the world, at Mendel Schneerson's request. All Sokolovsky has done is make websites that follow that lead. He does not claim to be an employee of or sanctioned by Chabad of Oregon. He is his own boss, as is clear from looking at those blogs.
The Rebbe gave away the Chabad "trademark." The Rebbe also "gave away" Chabad's monotheism. People unhappy with Ariel Sokolovsky should direct their anger to where it truly belongs – Menachem Mendel Schneerson and Chabad.