קפסיק ותני מבין העובדי כוכבים ואפי' מן תרמוד ואמר רבי יוחנן זאת אומרת מקבלין גרים מתרמוד
The tanna concluded and taught: All stains from among the gentiles are pure, from which it may be inferred: And even from Tarmod. This indicates that in all places inhabited by gentiles there is no need to be concerned about stains. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: That is to say, one accept converts from Tarmod without concern that they might be Jewish, albeit mamzerim. This contradicts the previous opinion attributed to Rabbi Yoḥanan that converts from the Tarmodim are not accepted.
וכי תימא זאת ולא ס"ל והא אמר רבי יוחנן הלכה כסתם משנה אמוראי נינהו ואליבא דר' יוחנן
And if you would say that Rabbi Yoḥanan specifically emphasized: That is to say, i.e., he meant that this conclusion may be logically inferred from the mishna, and yet he himself does not hold by this opinion, but didn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan state a principle that the halakha is in accordance with the ruling of an unattributed mishna, as is the case here? The Gemara answers: They are amora’im, and they disagree in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Some Sages said in Rabbi Yoḥanan’s name that the Tarmodim are unfit, while others maintain that they are fit.
מתרמוד מאי טעמא לא פליגי בה רבי יוחנן וסביא חד אמר משום עבדי שלמה וחד אמר משום בנות ירושלים
§ The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that the Sages do not accept converts from Tarmod? Rabbi Yoḥanan and the Elders disagree about this matter. Although they concur that converts from Tarmod are not accepted, they disagree with regard to the reason. One of them said that it is due to the servants of King Solomon. Solomon built a city in Tarmod (see I Kings 9:18), and his gentile servants, taking advantage of their status and power, married Jewish women unlawfully. Therefore, it is possible that the inhabitants of Tarmod and their descendants are mamzerim. And the other one said that it is due to the daughters of Jerusalem, who were taken captive and raped and gave birth to children among the gentiles.
בשלמא למ"ד משום עבדי שלמה קסבר עובד כוכבים ועבד הבא על בת ישראל הולד ממזר אלא למ"ד משום בנות ירושלים מאי היא פליגי בה רב יוסף ורבנן ותרוייהו משמיה דרבה בר בר חנה
The Gemara comments: Granted, according to the one who said that it is due to the servants of Solomon, this is logical, as he holds that in the case of a gentile or a slave who had intercourse with a Jewish woman, the offspring is a mamzer. Accordingly, as the servants of Solomon were slaves and they engaged in intercourse with Jewish women, their children are considered mamzerim. However, according to the one who said that it is due to the daughters of Jerusalem, what is the reason that the concern applied specifically to Tarmod and no other cities? Rav Yosef and the Rabbis disagree with regard to this question, and both stated their opinions in the name of Rabba bar bar Ḥana.
חד אמר תריסר אלפי גברי ושיתא אלפי קשתויי וחד אמר תריסר אלפי גברי ומנייהו שיתא אלפי קשתויי בשעה שנכנסו עובדי כוכבים להיכל הכל נפנו על כסף וזהב והם נפנו על בנות ירושלים שנאמר (איכה ה, יא) נשים בציון ענו בתולות בערי יהודה
The Gemara elaborates: One of them said that twelve thousand men and six thousand archers came from Tarmod, and the other one said that there were twelve thousand men, of whom six thousand were archers. When the gentiles entered the Sanctuary during the conquest of Jerusalem, they all turned to plunder the silver and the gold they saw there, but the warriors of Tarmod turned to the daughters of Jerusalem, as it is stated: “They have ravished the women in Zion, the maidens in the cities of Judah” (Lamentations 5:11). According to the opinion that children born of relations between gentiles and Jewish women are mamzerim, all the children born to these women are mamzerim.
אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן פסוק זה שר העולם אמרו (תהלים לז, כה) נער הייתי גם זקנתי מאן אמריה אילימא קודשא בריך הוא מי איכא זקנה קמיה ואלא דוד אמריה מי קשיש כולי האי אלא ש"מ שר העולם אמרו
§ In relation to a verse cited earlier, Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: This verse was stated by the ministering angel appointed over the world: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25). Who said this? If we say that it was the Holy One, Blessed be He, is there old age before Him? Could God possibly say: “I have been young, and now am old”? And rather, one could say that David himself said it, from his own experience; but was he indeed so old? After all, David died at the age of seventy. Rather, conclude from this that the ministering angel appointed over the world said it, as he can speak both of youth and old age, and it is he who reported his observations from around the world.
ואמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב (איכה א, י) ידו פרש צר על כל מחמדיה זה עמון ומואב בשעה שנכנסו עובדי כוכבים להיכל הכל נפנו על כסף וזהב והם נפנו על ס"ת אמרו זה שכתוב בו (דברים כג, ד) לא יבא עמוני ומואבי בקהל ה' ישרף באש
And Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani further said that Rabbi Yonatan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The adversary has spread out his hand upon all her treasures; for she has seen that the heathens have entered into her Temple, concerning which You commanded that they should not enter into Your congregation” (Lamentations 1:10)? This is referring to Ammon and Moab. How so? When the gentiles entered the Sanctuary, all turned to plunder the silver and the gold, and the soldiers from Ammon and Moab turned to the scrolls of Torah to destroy them. They said: Is this the scroll in which it is written: “An Ammonite and a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:4)? Let it be burnt by fire.
(איכה א, יז) צוה ה' ליעקב סביביו צריו אמר רב כגון הומניא לפום נהרא
With regard to the Ammonites, the Gemara cites another verse: “The Lord has commanded against Jacob that they who are round about him should be his adversaries” (Lamentations 1:17). Rav said: For an example of this, there is the city Homanya in relation to the city Pum Nahara, as the descendants of the Ammonites live in Homanya, and they harass the Jews of Pum Nahara.
אמר רב יהודה א"ר אסי עובד כוכבים שקידש בזמן הזה חוששין לקדושין שמא מעשרת השבטים הוא והא כל דפריש מרובא פריש
§ Rav Yehuda said that Rav Asi said: With regard to a gentile who betrothed a Jewish woman nowadays, we are concerned that the betrothal might be valid, despite the fact that a betrothal of a gentile is meaningless, lest he be from the ten tribes of Israel who intermingled with the gentiles. The Gemara raises an objection: But there is an important principle in halakha that any item separated, i.e., not fixed in its place, is presumed to have been separated from the majority. In this case, it can be assumed that any individual singled out from the gentiles belongs to the majority of gentiles and has no Jewish roots at all.
בדוכתא דקביעי דאמר רבי אבא בר כהנא (מלכים ב יח, יא) וינחם בחלח ובחבור נהר גוזן וערי מדי חלח זה חלזון וחבור
The Gemara responds: Rav Yehuda means that there is a concern only with regard to those who came from the permanent dwelling places of the ten tribes. As Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said that the verse states about those exiled from Samaria: “And he put them in Halah, and in Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes” (I Kings 18:11). Rabbi Abba bar Kahana proceeded to identify these places. Halah; this is the place called Ḥalzon. And Habor;