Jerusalem Talmud, Sotah 8.10
תלמוד ירושלמי מסכת סוטה פרק ח הלכה י
רבנין אמרין מלחמת מצוה זו מלחמת דוד מלחמ' חובה זו מלחמת יהושע. רבי יהודה היה קורא מלחמת רשות כגון אנן דאזלין עליהון. מלחמת חובה כגון דאתיין אינון עלינן.
Sages say: A sanctified war is like the wars of house of David; and an obligatory war is like the war of Joshua. R. Judah called a permitted/optional war one in which we attacked them; an obligatory war one in which they attacked us.[Translation by Righteous Indignation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Why are the wars of the house of David considered sanctified? Why are the wars of Joshua obligatory? What was the difference between these two sets of wars?

2. How does R. Judah understand the difference between a permitted/optional war and an obligatory war? What do you think of this difference?

3. Are there ever situations in which war is permitted? What about encouraged? Is there a such thing as a sanctified war today?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)