Many bloggers have already commented on the "Cholent Convert" story. For those of you who don't read other blogs, or may have missed it, here is the crux of the story. (Original story from Mishpacha in Hebrew here).
A certain Ba'al Teshuva who had been learning in Israel for two years was eating at a kollel couple's house on Shabbos. During the meal, it became apparent that the Ba'al Teshuva did not like cholent. The kollel husband remembered reading that one who does not eat "chamin" on Shabbos is to be suspected of being an min (heretic). In addition, he also realized that the Ba'al Teshuva did not shukkle (sway rhythmically back and forth) when he davened (prayed), as many Orthodox Jews do. Upon observing these two behaviors and realizing that the Ba'al Teshuva comes from a country where Judaism is not kept very well, he reasoned that the Ba'al Teshuva must not be a Jew according to halacha. Further questioning of the Ba'al Teshuva's background turned up nothing to indicate that he was not Jewish. Nonetheless, the question was forwarded to Rav Eliyashiv, who determined that the man must undergo a giur (conversion).
To me, the whole story sounds fishy on several counts.
1. The halacha regarding not eating "chamin" on Shabbos was not applied correctly. "Chamin" means "hot food" (from the Hebrew word cham, meaning hot). Only relatively recently has the term come to mean the specific food that we know of as cholent.
If someone did not eat hot food at all on Shabbos, they were suspected of being a min (heretic) because it was feared that they might be following the erroneous position that one cannot use fires at all on Shabbos. The halacha here is referring to someone who specifically objects to eating hot foods on those grounds, not someone who does not eat hot food because he doesn't like the cholent, thinks it's too hot outside for hot food in the summer, or doesn't eat a specific hot food for any other reason.
2. A min is someone who is specifically Jewish -- a non-Jew cannot be a min. As such, even if he was absolutely refusing to eat the food on the basis of the fact that he held that fires cannot used on Shabbos at all and that one must eat cold food, that in itself cannot be used to show that he is not Jewish -- as a non-Jew wouldn't care whether he used fires or not on Shabbos.
3. There have been plenty of people throughout history that didn't shukkle when they davened. At least one blogger has pointed out that R. Moshe Feinstein did not shukkle. I've seen countless people whom I know are Jewish and are far more learned than I that do not shukkle.
4. Another very important point that was brought out by Rafi is that certainly R. Eliyashiv knows all three points made above. As he states:
And before I continue, let me just say before some people jump down my throat, that I am sure Rav Elyashiv knows that section of shulchan aruch at least as well as me, if not 500 times better (though one does not need to be the gadol hador to quote a siman in shulchan aruch).
I can understand the kollel husband making the mistake and taking the halacha in Shulchan Aruch completely out of context -- just because one learns in kollel doesn't mean that one really knows how to learn or to think critically. But if I, who is certainly no rabbi and no talmud chacham, can easily understand this, I'm sure that Rav Eliyashiv knows it as well.
So, to me the whole story sounds just a bit fishy. I want more details before I swallow this one down.