Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Korach: Rav Shlomo Kluger - Dasan and Aviram's Underground House

 "The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses"  Previously (16:27) it is stated that Dasan and Aviram went out and stood "Pesach Ahaleihem" - "at the entrance of their tents". Why does it say that they were swallowed with their houses and not their tents

R Shlomo Kluger answers, the difference between a tent (Ohel) and a house (Bayis) is that a tent is temporary and a house is permanent. The sojourn in the Midbar was a temporary stopover between Mitzrayim and Eretz Yisroel. Therefore, all the people lived in tents and were looking forward to their permanent residence in Eretz Yisroel. Now that the earth swallowed them, Korach and his people could no longer anticipate coming to Eretz Yisroel, and thus "Ohaleihem" - "their tents" in which they temporarily dwelled, now became "Bateihem" - "their permanent houses" in which they would remain underground for a very very long time.