You shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the Shabbat, from the day on which you bring the raised omer—seven complete weeks shall there be. Until the morrow of the seventh week, you shall count fifty days.
One of the Chassidic masters explained the significance of Sefirat HaOmer—the daily counting of the days and weeks from Passover to Shavuot commanded by the Torah—with the following parable:
A person finds a chest full of gold coins, takes it home, and then proceeds to count them. His counting has no effect on the actual number of coins in his possession: he now has no more and no less than he had before he counted them. But counting them makes them real to him; he can now digest the significance of his find and deliberate how to make use of it.
On the first day of Passover, we were granted the entire “treasure chest.” The moment of the Exodus—the moment of our birth as a people—encapsulated within it our entire history. Then, on the following day, began the count: the process of examining our gifts, quantifying and itemizing them, translating them into the resources of our daily lives.