Phineas (FIHN-ee-uhs) was an ascetic who lived for a time in Lydda and was famous for his brilliance, piety, and ability to perform miracles. He was son-in-law of Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai and a contemporary of Rabbi Yehudah ha Nasi. He emphasized tithes to the point of fanaticism. His concern for cleanliness caused him never to accept an invitation to dine with another, including members of his family. In debate over Jewish religious law, he is reputed to have been rigid, but his saintly character and pious living overshadowed that. Subsequent generations have ascribed authorship of Midrash Tadshe to him (known as the Baraitha of Phinehas ben Jair).