Many believe that the concept of a Messianic Redeemer is a modern-day invention, or worse, a Non-Jewish/Christian innovation.

This week we'll read about the prophecy of Bilaam the Midianite who, frustrated in his desire to curse the Jews, ends up blessing them. His final prophecy is of our eventual redemption.

I don't get it. We've got no Jews, no rabbis, no home grown talent, that we need a Bilaam to introduce such a fundamental concept?

The late Rabbi Chaim Gutnick once told me about a couple who came to him for marriage counseling. Among other advice he suggested they commit to some specifically Jewish practices, for example Shabbat meals.

Frustrated by his reactionary, old-fashioned viewpoint, they dumped him and sought professional help.

A few weeks later he was at home, and answered the door to the same couple, this time carrying a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a peace offering.

Their explanation for their change in attitude: Their highly paid, thoroughly 'modern' therapist had recommended that they bring some romance and caring back into the marriage. Once a week, turn off the TV, disconnect the phone and make a commitment to sit down together for a quiet, candle-lit dinner.

Hearing this identical advice from "a professional," they reconsidered their previous attitude and were willing to accept that there may well be some value in Judaism after all.

Unfortunately, for many Jews to accept a moral standard and belief they need the world's approval. If a rabbi talks about the negative effect of television and the Internet, people say he is outdated, but were a lecturer on values to say the same, then people take it more seriously.

If even the Bilaams can be persuaded that this world is due for a change; that life has greater possibilities than the mess we struggle with daily; isn't it time that we too got on the Goodness & Kindness bandwagon and, by changing ourselves, bought about change?