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“And what was done to Dasan and Aviram … how the earth opened up her mouth and swallowed them up.” (11:6)

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The punishment meted out to these two wicked individuals for their participation in Korach’s quarrel is alluded to in this posuk. It seems puzzling that the Torah would mention Dasan and Aviram and not mention Korach who was the central figure and chief antagonist in this quarrel. We may derive from this apparent exclusion a lesson in the proper approach when rebuking someone. It is extremely important that one be aware of the feelings of the one who is being reprimanded, not to cause him any embarrassment and discomfort.

Korach’s sons, once they repented, were spared from Hashem’s punishment. They were standing there as Moshe recounted the various incursions and transgressions of Klal Yisroel. In order not to embarrass them, their father’s name is not publicly mentioned. Dasan and Aviram, however, who were swallowed up leaving no lasting trace, are mentioned, since no shame or disgrace can befall others with this statement.

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