A modern version reads: "Rise up like a lion for the service of the Lord!"
Such a mantra gives purpose to each day. It is a defense against indifference, indolence, otiosity and a day without a goal, a purpose.
A lion envisions strength. It knows it must hunt to survive. It awakens with a purpose.
The code goes on to exhort persons to rise early with purpose. It is an appeal to devote yourself to your responsibility. When your spiritual side takes over you feel invigorated, stimulated and ready to go with resolve.
The Code contains instruction to begin the day with prayer. In the early morning, as the earth is being renewed it is a great time to experience personal renewal. The Jewish word for "faith" and "belief" is emunah. This early morning time along with God is designed to strengthen ones emunah.
Long before I knew the code I had a similar personal resolution with which I face every new day; "Let's you and me go get 'um, Lord."
The theme text of my life is Colossians 3:23: "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
This approach balances one's emotional equilibrium. Life is lived with a desire to please an audience of one. This is how it works.
If persons do what they do with one objective, that being to please the Lord, the responses of persons is put in perspective.
If what is done is done as to the Lord and He approves and people brag on it, compliment the doer, and give kudos there is no cause for egotism. It wasn't done for them, but as to the Lord.
If what is done is done as to the Lord and He approves but people complain and criticize there is no reason to get depressed or be defeated. It wasn't done for the approval of people, but as to the Lord. Approval is appreciated, but not essential, for emotional equilibrium.
I carry a mental copy of a poster I saw. It depicted little fuzzy yellow ducks all in a row with outstretched necks walking through tall grass with their heads barely above the grass. The caption was "Go forth and conquer."
You may feel more like these little ducks than a lion as you face each new day, but do so with resolute emunah.
Sir Edmund Hillary in writing of climbing Mount Everest noting that at great elevations the atmosphere is thin and oxygen scarce.
Under these conditions, he said, the mind has a tendency to wander. Therefore, before leaving the base camp in the morning you have to "fix your mind" on your objective.
That is the spirit encouraged in the Shulchan Aruch.
Consciously try it. You will find it most meaningful.
Tomorrow and all your tomorrows, "Rise up like a lion for the service of the Lord!"
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. Contact Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.