“Three books are opened on Rosh Hashanah: [one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the tzadikim gemurim (perfectly righteous), and one for the beinunim (intermediate)…].” (Rosh Hashanah 16b)

Tzadikim gemurim are those whose speech is altogether in matters of holiness, prayer and Torah, to unite the speech with the “World of Thought.” 1 For one must believe that with every prayer and word of Torah, when uttered with kavanah (proper intent), you surely unify the “World of Speech” with the “World of Thought.” 2 You may not be granted that which you requested in your prayer. 3 Nonetheless, the “stirring from below,” unifying the “World of Speech” with the “World of Thought,” effects the same on high. 4 These people, therefore, whose sole intent is to unify the “World of Speech” with the “World of Thought,” they are tzadikim gemurim.

This is the meaning of our sages’ saying (Berachot 30b) that “One should not rise to pray but with koved rosh (‘heaviness of the head;’ humility)” 5: when one prays with kavanah, the Holy One, blessed is He, is glorified in the “World of Speech.” This brings glorification into all worlds, and also upon [the one who prays]. Thus he must be careful not to cease from the deveikut (attachment [to God]), i.e., he should not think of self-glorification on account of praying with great kavanah.

The beinunim (intermediate) are those who in prayer have in mind also that the Holy One, blessed is He, grant them the request of their mundane needs. They “remain suspended 6 from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur” (Rosh Hashanah 16b), i.e., the “World of Thought” which is referred to as Yom Kippur. 7 This means, the suspension remains until [the examination of] the “thought,” i.e., their kavanah (intent): if their intent in requesting mundane needs is for the sake of Heaven, to free them for the service [of God], blessed be He, they, too, shall be inscribed for life. 8 For the “World of Speech” and the “World of Thought” are unified by virtue of their kavanah.

[The phrase] “three books” denotes [forms of] speech. 9