Messianic Chabadnik Ariel Sokolovsky Condemned
STATEMENT FROM CHABAD-LUBAVITCH
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
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 concubine website.
the concubine blog.
the Feb. 12, 2007 Haaretz article that got Ariel in trouble:
Sokolovsky is a Moldova-born Chabad rabbi in Portland, Oregon, and a
more amiable soul would be hard to find.
Yet Sokolovsky maintains a blog he entitled "Rebbegod" and refers to
Schneerson as "Rebbe-Almighty" among other adulatory sobriquets.
Drawing on rabbinical sources, he attempts to show that this is not
as revolutionary as it sounds. He concedes that there are few people
like him who will openly call the Rebbe God. He claims, however, that
many people believe it, but do not say so openly for fear of scaring
people away from Chabad altogether.
"The Rebbe and God are not the same thing exactly, but I do not object
to people thinking that they are the same thing."
He recounts an incident in which he confronted his teacher - a senior
Chabad rabbi from the former USSR - as to why he would not openly declare
the Rebbe to be God. According to Sokolowsky, the senior rabbi jokingly
warned him: "there can be many gods but only one Moshiach."
Ariel told me Feb. 12 that every reporter since me has misquoted him.
Ariel posts to my blog Feb. 13, 2007:
By the grace of G-d Shalom everyone! This “STATEMENT FROM CHABAD-LUBAVITCH
OF OREGON Inc.” makes no sense:
1) How can Rabbi Wilhelm be “shocked” when he knows my beliefs for
2 years I have been here in Portland and 1 year I had http://www.RebbeGod.blogspot.com
blog when we had a number of 1 on 1 conversations on these topics with
2) How can he accuse me of “blasphemy” if he gives me aliahs to the
Torah fully knowing what my public statements and beliefs are (a blasphemer
doesn’t get aliah’s among other things) ?
3) He asserts that I have no position in Chabad Lubavitch movement.
I don’t know what that means. If it means I have no position in his
non profit corporation Chabad of Oregon Inc fine I never claimed I did.
Yet on the other hand the Rebbe King Moshiach clearly said a number
of times that every Jew is His shaliach (emissary) thus is automatically
part of Chabad Lubavitch movement. That every Chabadnik should turn
his home into a “Chabad House” to offer physical and spiritual assistance
to others including putting a Chabad House sign on the door thus I have
a number of such “doors” here in Portland in Boston and online which
welcome thousands of visitors daily spreading Torah and Chassidus including
the Rebbes teachings about the excitement of living in the Messianic
era unfolding before our eyes and the identity of Moshiach.
4) He asserts that I’m not a rabbi certified by Chabad movement which
is extremely deceptive as Chabad movement doesn’t certify Rabbis nor
is an ordination at one of the Chabad Yeshivah’s is or has ever been
a requirement for serving as a Chabad emissary a number of well known
emissaries ordained elsewhere are are a clear proff to this fact.
5) He claims that I cannot be called a Chabad activist as my actions
are supposedly against the code of Jewish law. Since none of these sins
are actually listed this vague slander deserves no reply.
6) He reiterates that my blog is my private initiative as if I ever
claimed otherwise. He mentions another blog and a site which are now
run under a pen name “Noah Smith” that I have recently took over and
improved with the Rebbe’s blessings thru the Holy letters http://www.igrot.com
(as is the Chabad custom to ask the Rebbe’s blessing thru holy letters)
that “it should be published as soon as possible as it will bring merit
to many” (mezakeh et ha’rabim) and claims that this particular blog
and site is against the Torah and Jewish tradition ignoring the fact
that this site is under the supervision of a qualified Dayan (Rabbinic
Judge) from Jerusalem an expert in Jewish family law related to this
site and author of many books on this and other topics who has more
knowledge than Rabbi Wilhelm Shlit”a whose main functions as far as
I can see are teaching the basics of Judaism, kosher supervision and
especially fundraising (which often causes people to write and publish
such statements which have nothing to do with Chabad teachings or Jewish
law but are an example of duplicity, backstabbing Orwellian doublespeak
and empty propaganda.)
PS. It has been mentioned to me by a person with connections within
“Lubavitch Headquarters” that supposedly Rabbi Wilhelm didn’t write
this shameful statement of his own volition but only after facing much
pressure from “Lubavitch Headquarters” to do so after the HaAretz article
came out. While I don’t know for sure if this is true or another bit
of misinformation this statement does look very strange much unlike
anything I have seen or heard from Rabbi Wilhelm Shlit”a whom I have
grown to respect as a decent and kind human being that he is who I would
never had imagined would lend his name and web site to spread this strange
defamatory, obscenely foolish and slanderous statement.
With respect and blessing. Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky Bais Moshiach Center
of Greater Boston and Portland Oregon http://www.BostonChabad.com
I was tipped off to this story by Ariel Sokolovsky, a Russian Chabad
Jew new to America. He created BostonChabad.com.
This website is created and maintained by Ariel
S. Sokolovsky. It attempts to present the words of the Lubavitcher
Rebbe King Moshiach. It was reviewed by a number of Chabad Rabbis who
assured Ariel Sokolovsky that the site is proper. However there are
some people in Chabad in general and in the Chabad of Boston in particular
who believe that even though the message of the site is true it shouldn't
be publicized (despite the clear instructions of the Rebbe King Moshiach
to the contrary) since in their opinion it may push away some people
from Chabad. Moreover they claim that my using the www.BostonChabad.com
name is illegal, against halocha and the Rebbe King Moshiach's directives.
Since they have yet to produce one quote or any other shred of evidence
to support these baseless allegations it's my humble opinion that they
are jelious of the success of this site and are trying to intimidate
me into giving up the domain name. I have offered them to ask what the
Rebbe King Moshiach thinks about this thru Igrot Koidesh (Holy Letters
of the Rebbe King Moshiach which can be used to ask a question and recieve
a miraculious reply from Him www.igrot.com however I'm not aware if
they have taken me up on my offer so I'll keep you posted of any new
Persecuted Believers In Rebbe King Moshiach Undaunted
Chabadniks, members of the Chabad Hasidic sect of Orthodox Judaism, tell
lukeford.net that they are persecuted when they speak out about the identity
of Rebbe King Moshiach (the Messiah).
A Boston Chabad rabbi writes Ariel:
It was brought to my attention that you are running a website www.chabadboston.com.
Did any shliach (presumably Rabbi ___ - the Chabad shliach in Boston,
or myself) give you permission to use the name "chabadboston"? If not
1. against the law (USA)
2. Against halacha [Jewish Law]
3. Against the directives of the Rebbe
I urge you to stop immediately.
Have you heard of the principle innocent till proven guilty well you
know me better then to excpect me to cave in to intimidation with no
basis in reason or logic. My address is also a part of Boston. I'm also
a part of Chabad and it's not within your power to kick me out of Chabad
(if that is even possible) so if you feel like it place an ad in Jewish
Advocate saying the web site www.BostonChabad.com is not affiliated
with your Chabad House or sue me (have you heard of the expression there
is no such thing as bad publicity) I urge you to stop immediately.
Did you ask the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach before writing this letter
with such unsubstantiated accusations? why not do it now http://www.igrot.com/eng/form.htm
last time i had a similar argument with someone in New York eventually
we went into 770 and I opened Igrot the answer of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach
Shlit"a was "Mivtzoim that you do widen the gates thru which the brocha
will flow down" that was a convincing enough answer for that person
who is also older and presumably wiser then me to agree that I was right
and leave me alone are you sacred of the same exact outcome? Hate to
be proven wrong? I dare you try it: http://www.igrot.com/eng/form.htm
Perhaps I wasn't brought up with the same dicipline you were and it's
much harder for me to keep any kind of Seider but i was taught not be
embarrassed that I'm a Jew not to be embarrassed to say the truth and
if you don't share those values your entire being mesudar is worth nothing
and the builders of the migdal Bavel were also very mesudar people and
had the tremendous achdus...:-)
So if you want to continue convincing students to wear kippah "since
everyone around them also dresses weird and has purple hair and piercings"
fine i think it's foolish but it's your choice do what you think is
right however I'll do what i understand is right and that is to fullfill
the directives of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach and i know i have His
support and i dare you or anyone else to interfere with me and i hope
for your sake you are not going to do so.
Respectfully Ariel S. Sokolovsky
Question on BostonChabad.com:
Is this the official
policy of Lubavitch?
Answer: The only one who sets Lubavitch policy is the Rebbe himself.
No one else. Lubavitcher Chassidim, the world over, live by what the
Rebbe says, does and wants. Yes, every person regardless of race, religion,
color or creed has a right to express any opinion he wants. It has to
be clear, however, that it is only a private and personal opinion and
does not reflect the opinion of the Rebbe and/or Lubavitch. The Rebbe
made three things crystal-clear:
1. "The time of the redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way.
2. The Rebbe, is Moshiach (see above).
3. We should "publicize this to all the people of the generation."
(Shabbos Shoftim 5751)
This is what the Rebbe said. This is what the Rebbe wants. And this
is what Lubavitch Chassidim live by.
...Born in Kishinev, Moldova,
former Soviet Union on 15th of Teives 5740-January 4 1980, (few months
before the Rebbe King Moshiach [Menahem Schneerson] made the famous
speech in Russian demanding that the Soviet goverment follow it's own
constitution and allow and protect the observance of Judaism in the
USSR predicting that if it will not do so it will be replaced by the
one which will in a near future) Ariel
Sokolovsky grew up in a family where only some Jewish traditions
were observed. Before the the fall of communism, he slowly got in touch
with his Jewish roots by learning Hebrew and later learning Torah Jewish
Law and any Jewish book he could find. He eventually deciding to stop
eating meat since no kosher meat was available. He went to various Zionist
summer camps then later went to a Jewish school for a year. He went
to a Kishinev branch of Torah Vodath Yeshiva right after his Bar Mitzvah.
He moved to the United States June 2, 1993.
FOR A CONTRARY VIEW, read this book by David Berger: The
Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference
Ariel tells me in November, 2002: "I grew up in Kishnev, Moldova. When
I started becoming religious, I started reading various articles. The
Chief Rabbi of Kishinev and Moldova, Rabbi
Zalman Abelsky HaCohen, is a great Torah scholar both in Talmud and
in Chabad Chassidc philosophy. He was emissary of the Rebbe King Moshiach
and of the previous Rebbe a person who rekindled the Jewish spark in Moldova.
I went to a yeshiva of Agudat Yisrael [Lithuanian approach to Judaism,
mitnagdic, different from Habad Hasidim] Torah VoDas. We studied only
Torah from morning until late evening for four month before my family
and I went to Moscow on the way to Boston. My mom would also come for
Shabbos there and to a seminar they conducted and she too became observant.
I and many others had "brit mila"- circumcision and got my Jewish name
Ariel which means Lion of G-d and is also used in Isaiah 29 as a metaphor
"I studied at the Torat Haim Yeshiva about 30 miles from Moscow in May
1993 . It had some people who were Chabad and some people who were not-Chabad.
Some who looked Chassidic some who didn't. I did not then understand the
many differences in philosophy between various Jewish movements. (I was
told misnagdim study more Torah and hassidim do more good deeds.) During
a meal at Shavuos [feast of Pentecost], I asked the head of the yeshiva
if it was mitnagdic [opponents of Hasidism], he said "For sure not misnagdic
since even the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlit"a said there were no longer any
real misnagdic yeshivot.
"In that yeshiva, I saw a book in Hebrew that took all the customs of
Chabad Lubavitch, scrutinized them, and concluded that Chabad was a form
of idol worship (G-d forbid) . I was confused. In Kishnev, there were
warm and friendly relations between Chabad and Agudat Yisrael How could
that be if the charges in that book were true Besides the fact that the
customs they quoted there were and are common among many other groups
Seffardic and Chassidic in particular.
"When I came to Boston, I was invited to the home of Rabbi
Chaim Zalman Gurkow for Shabbos. We studied together the laws of who
is the Moshiach
[Messiah] in the Mishne Torah and he explained to me why he thinks
the Rebbe [Rabbi Menahem Scheerson] fits the description. I went to a
Chabad yeshiva in Moristown. I'd go to the mikveh [ritual pool of water]
every morning and study Chabad
Hasidism before prayer. That regimen gave me a clear mind. I did not
have extraneous thoughts. I felt that the evil inclination was sleeping.
"I went to New York for shabbos and visited 770
Eastern Parkway and saw the Rebbe King Moshiach. When he came out
on the balcony, people would sing "Long
Live the Rebbe King Moshiach Forever and Ever! And he'd encourage
their singing. I saw that the rebbe supported the idea."
Levi: "What have been the negative repercussions to you for believing
that the Rebbe is the King Moshiach?"
Ariel: "Having to endure some public humiliation. I've had people yelling
that I am an idol worshiper.
"There are two issues here. The issue of believing in the Rebbe as the
Moshiach and the issue of promoting that belief. All Chabad Hassidim and
other people who took time to reasearch the issue of what the Rebbe was
saying about Moshiach and know who is the Rebbe believe he is the Moshiach.
I do not know one Chabad rabbi who has said publicly that he does not
believe that the rebbe is the Moshiach. Some of them however, especially
those in America, feel that saying publicly that the Rebbe is the Moshiach
now after the Gimel
Tamuz 5754 the day of the Rebbes concealment creates the wrong association
between Chabad and Christianity. They fear of enduring the few moments
when they are called idol worshipers forgeting that the firs thing writen
in Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish Law) is that one is to be bold like
a leopard in ignoring the mockers (and as the Rebbe comented the rest
of the Shulchan Aruch can't be observed without this that's why it's placed
in the beggining) ...
"One Chabad Shaliach screamed at me for saying the Rebbe was the Moshiach
in Shule. Then I was at his house later. I tried to convince him the Rebbe
is the Moshiach. He said he knew the Rebbe is Moshiach but if we say it
publicly, people will not give money to Chabad and they will not come
close to Chabad and they will not study Chabad Hasidism which the Rebbe
said is the way to hasten the revealation of Moshiach. I pointed out that
he mentioned money as the number one reason forgeting that money comes
from HaShem (G-d) and following the instructions of the Rebbe King Moshiach
and after that he stopped to oppose my actions in publicizing the identity
of Moshiach. (After that I also got a reply from the Rebbe thru Igrot
Koidesh [holy book] saying that I should continue and increase my
activites in this area and I'll overcome all obstacles in the merit of
"If people would understand that the Rebbe is the Moshiach and that
he is also a prophet
and that whatever he says is the word of HaShem, such as not giving away
parts of the Holy Land, and the who
is a Jew controversy (rebbe says only those who have an Orthodox conversion)
and the obligation to listen to his directives not just as those of the
Torah sage but of a prophet see Deuteronomy 18 ..."
Levi: "How many people have given you a hard time for your websites?"
Ariel: "Very few until I registered www.bostonchabad.com.
When some shluchim [emissaries] in Boston said I had to ask their priour
permission to do so. I was told by Rabbi Chaim Yitzhok Cohen of the Beis
Moshiach center in London that Rebbe King Moshiach said in a public
talk on this issue that every Chabadnik should put a "Chabad House " sign
on his home. It would be as illogical to say that I should go to one of
Chabad's emissaries and ask if it is right for me to put a Chabad House
sign on my "virtual home" as on my actual home particularly since the
Rebbe also said that all
Jews who assume that mission are his emissaries. Besides there are
plenty of other domain names they can register.
"I urge everyone who is reading this to go to their respective emissaries
in their communities and demand that they obey the Rebbe King Moshiach's
directives and stop "concealing" the identity of Moshiach and teach people
the Rebbes talks from 5751-5752 since the Rebbe said this is the surest
way to hasten the redeemption. And proclaim
"Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu veRabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach LeOilam Vo'ed!"(video)-
Live the rebbe King Moshiach forever! (video)"
Chaim Amalek writes:
All the best to this guy, but let's face it, HE ISN'T JEWISH. Oh sure,
he remains a Jew in the Adolf-Eichman-Jews-are-a-biological-fact sort
of way, but in terms of basic theology, he is no more a Jew than an
adherent of the Nation of Islam (let alone a "Five Percenter") is a
Muslim or a "Jew for Jesus" is a Jew. He belongs now to some other faith,
just as those Jews who insisted that Jehoshua bar Miriam was the Messiah
in the years after his death were ultimately acknowledged to be the
first adherents of a new faith.
Meanwhile, the flesh and bones of Menachem Schneerson continue to decay
in his simple grave. The guy is dead, dead, dead, and he is not coming
back to assume earthly form for moshiachdom or for any other purpose.
Or do these people believe that he is in fact alive, just "resting"
in his grave, not subject to the forces of physical decay that are the
final arbiter of all flesh? Luke, if this delusion continues, expect
to see some of these people dig up the rabbi's corpse and drag it through
the streets of Brooklyn in a parade.
The Chassidic movement, itself not exactly Jewish, deserves this comedy.
It is the end result of making of every self aggrandizing rabbi in ignorant
Europestern europe who had a following a mincaliphate a kaliphate of
the mind in which "The Rebbe" was made into some sort of intermediary
with God. And do not forget that by and large these "rebbis", who had
immense power over their followers and could have ordered them into
a state of violent revolt against the Nazis, instead generally chose
for them the path of pacifist suicide. If the Arabs do succeed in driving
Israel into the sea, I have no doubt that quite of few of these rabbis
will remain on as collaborators with their Muslim overlords, imposing
their version of Sharia on the few survivors.
As it's writen in the Mishlei (Proverbs of King Solomon) "Answer the
fool according to his folly" :-) so all I can say to Reb Chaim Amolek
the man should change his last name and have No Compassion for Amalek
if he is even Jewish in the 1st place:-)
PS. Can Reb Chaim reread my site and find anything positive he can
say about it, anything:-)
You know, I imagine that were he alive and mentally sound (not suffering
from the infirmaties of old age) "The Rebbe" would be spinning in his
grave over the assertions being made in his name.
OK, I've read the site, further considered the arguments and have
now changed my mind as follows:
AMALEK SUPPORTS THE REBBE AS MOSHIACH
AMALEK SUPPORTS MENACHEM SCHNEERSON AS MOSHIACH
AMALEK STANDS WITH YOU
AMALEK AMALEK AMALEK AMALEK AMALEK WANTS YOU TO GET EVEN MORE PUBLICITY