In this week’s parshah we learn that the sons of Korach did not follow their father’s ways or his teachings, as it states, “And the sons of Korach did not die (Numbers 26:11).” The sons of Korach were spared from the fate decreed upon their father because they did not follow in his ways.
Many Psalms are attributed to the descendents of Korach. In T’hilim, David HaMelech declares: “Praiseworthy is the man who did not follow the counsel of the wicked, neither did he stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the company of scorners (1:1).” The Midrash (Yalkut Shim’oni, Korach, Ch. 16) explains that “praiseworthy” is referring to the sons of Korach.
The Midrash (Yalkut Shim’oni 752) relates that the sons of Korach were in a dilemma. They were sitting with their father Korach when Moshe appeared. They said to one another: “If we arise for Moshe, we offend our father. If we remain seated, on the other hand, we transgress the mitzvah of giving honor to a Torah scholar. They decided to fulfill the Torah commandment, and arose out of respect for Moshe. It was in this merit that they were saved, for at that moment thoughts of repentance stirred in their hearts.
This took great courage on their part. In life, we’re often told to “go with the flow.” But the sons of Korach felt it was time to instigate change and decided to go against the flow. The sons of Korach were unique in that they were seekers of truth. This is what saved them. They had an honest conviction to do what’s right.