(Nechemia 9, 4) "And they cried to the Lord, our G-d with a great voice." What did they say? Rav said (others say it was R. Yohanan): "Woe, woe! This one that destroyed the Temple and burned the holy precincts and wiped out all the righteous and sent Israel into exile from their land and still he dances among them?! Even if you gave it so that we might might receive a reward, we don't want it and we don't want the reward!" A note fell from heaven for them and on it was written "Truth." R. Haninah said, "Learn from this that the seal of the Holy One Blessed be He is 'Truth'.
They sat and fasted for three days and three nights and He delivered it to them. It appeared like a lion cub of fire from out of the holy or holies. The prophet said to Israel, this is the yetser for idolatry as it is written "And he said, this is the wicked one" (Zechariah 5, 8). When they grabbed him, they tore out a single hair from his fur he cried out so loudly that it was heard four hundred parsangs away. They said, "What shall we do? Perhaps - G-d forbid - Heaven will have mercy on him." The prophet told them,"Put it in a lead cauldron with lead sealing the mouth and the lead will stop up the noise," as it is written, "And he said, this is the wicked one and sent her into a measure and sealed it up with a leaden stone over its mouth."
They said; "Since it is a good time, let's ask the mercy from the yetser for sin." They requested mercy and He delivered it to them also. He [the prophet?] said to them, "Look, if we kill it, it will curse the world." They bound it for three days and they sought a day old egg in the whole land of Israel and it could not be found. They said, "What will we do? If we kill it, it will curse the world. If we ask for half a mercy... well, heaven doesn't give halves." So they painted its eyes and set it free. And since then they no longer become impassioned for close relatives.