Korach and his followers rebelled against Moshe. We know what Korach wanted. He wanted Moshe’s position of leadership. What did Datan and Aviram and the other followers want? From the answers they gave Moshe when he asked to talk to them we may find a clue.
When Moshe summoned them to come to him, their answer was: LO NA’ALEH, “…we will not go up.” “Isn’t it enough that you took us out of a land flowing with milk and honey”, LAHAMITENU BAMIDBAR, “to cause us to die in the Wilderness?” They also added: HA’ENEY HA’ANASHIM HAHEM TENAKER, LO NA’ALEH “…if you gouge out the eyes of those men we will not go up.” (Num. 16,12-14)
What did they mean by saying they will not go up? What men were they talking about when they speak of gouging out eyes?
If you put all of the statements together it seems to be comprehensible. This Portion follows the week before which told us about the spies who went to see the Land of Israel and came back with a discouraging and depressing report. It was then decreed by Hashem that this generation would not enter Israel but would die in the Wilderness.
This seems to be what Datan and Aviram and the others were complaining about against Moshe. “You took us out of a good land and now we will perish in the Wilderness.” “We refuse to ‘go up’ to that land because of what we heard about it.” “Are you going to gouge out the eyes of the people who reported about what they saw and try to change the facts?” This was their protest against Moshe and in effect, it blinded them and disorientated their judgment.