If this article is correct many Lubavitchers have literally started worshipping Avoda Zara.
Rabbi Ariel 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.
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."
Above all else? Above God? "As far as we are concerned, we can pray to the Rebbe and he can deal with God for us."
If one believes in God but leaves the Rebbe aside, is one still Jewish? "When the messiah reveals himself, those who didn't see him won't be saved, so you should work on..." He is interrupted. "Look, what you need to do is start with God and work your way up to the Rebbe."
How do they view the connection between Schneerson and God? "The Rebbe is not something different from God - the Rebbe is a part of God," says a British teenaged student.
Does this not 'idolize' Schneerson, in the literal sense? "We cannot connect to God directly - we need the Rebbe to take our prayers from here to there and to help us in this world. We are told by our rabbis that a great man is like God and the Rebbe was the greatest man ever. That is how we know he is the messiah, because how could life continue without him? No existence is possible without the Rebbe."
I don't understand why the frum world is standing by and not saying anything (except for Dr. David Berger). This is literally avoda zara.
Recently, I was in the airport and a Lubavitcher was putting tefillin on people. After they put on the tefillin he told them to say shma and then "יחי אדונינו ורבינו מלך המשיח", I was blown away. It is nice that Lubavitch go around with tefillin and put them on non-religious Jews, but making them say the יחי is a terrible thing.