R. Kruspedai said in the name of R. Yohanan: On Rosh Hashanah, three books are opened — one with the names of the completely wicked, one with the names of the completely righteous, and one with the names of those who are neither completely righteous nor completely wicked. The completely righteous: their verdict — life — is written down and sealed at once. Those neither completely righteous nor completely wicked: their verdict is suspended between New Year’s Day and the Day of Atonement. If they are deemed to deserve it [by resolving to repent], they are inscribed for life; if [they fail to repent] and therefore deemed not to deserve life, they are inscribed for death.
- Babylonian Talmud, tractate Rosh Hashanah 16b
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