Phinehas, ben-Yair

(2nd half of 2nd century)
   Tanna. Phinehas was known for his extreme goodness and his ladder to saintliness was constantly quoted as a guiding principle to later generations: ‘Caution [against evil] leads to Eagerness [for good], Eagerness to Cleanliness, Cleanliness to Purity, Purity to Asceticism, Asceticism to Holiness, Holiness to Humility, Humility to Fear of God, Fear of God to Attainment of the Holy Spirit, Attainment of the Holy Spirit to Resurrection of the Dead.’
   Phinehas may have lived in Lydda in Palestine. He was regarded as a very independent thinker. He refused to accept JUDAH HA-NASI’S halachic decision to allow work during the Sabbatical year, and even declined to eat with Judah because he felt he lived too ostentatiously.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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