In The Path of the Just (Mesilat Yesharim) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (ch.19), I noticed he sometimes uses the term "nachat ruach" and other times "korat ruach."

What is the meaning of both expressions and their distinction in this context?

  • Are you only asking about its usage in ramhals writings, or in general? If the latter is there and reason to assume that there is some universal principle for all writers? If the former, are you looking for a survey of usages by ramhal, and an indication of whether there appears to be a common denominator? – mevaqesh Mar 12 '17 at 23:58
  • in mesilat yesharim we have two korat ruach and more than 20 nachat ruach. The both korat ruach are regarding human satisfaction – kouty Mar 13 '17 at 20:01
  • You said you were asking about the terms in general, using path of the just add an example, then you edit indicating you are asking about that work in particular. Try to make up your mind about what you want to ask, and then clearly ask it. – mevaqesh Mar 13 '17 at 20:01
  • @kouty and what is the difference? – ray Mar 14 '17 at 7:19
  • @ray see my attempt of answer – kouty Mar 14 '17 at 7:31

In kesubos 40b the gemara explains that a rapist has to pay the raped woman damages (פגם) based on the her loss in value, which is estimated by how much a person would pay more for a virgin slave woman to marry her off to a slave that gives him korat ruach. Rashi says that because the slave gave him korat ruach the master wants to give him nachas ruach by marrying him off to virgin.

It appears from here that korat ruach is needed to cool down a person who is angry or worried. Nachas ruach seems to be relevant when a person has a desire for something, his ruach isn't quiet until he gets it. This last point is spoken out by the GRA on Mishlei 1:23. The concept of ruach is really a kabalistic concept (נר"נ - נשמה רוח ונפש) and is spoken about extensively by the GRA in Mishlei, and many other books.

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Both terms are present in Mishnaic literature. The Mahzor Vitry (427) writes that the terms carry the same meaning; calmness:

שאין כאן קורת רוח שלימה. קורת רוח. נחת רוח. לשון נתקררה דעתו. וכלפי שהחרון אף ועצבת רוח נקרא חימה. הרצון והנחת רוח נקרא קורת. שמתקררת ומיישבת דעתו עליו מרוב שמחה והנאה

That there is not a complete "korat ruah". 'Korat ruah': 'nahat ruah'. An expression of of calming [lit. cooling] oneself down. And this corresponds to anger and disturbance of spirit is called 'heimah'[lit. heating], 'ratson' and 'nahat ruah' [a settled spirit] is called 'korat' [literally cooled], for it cools and settles a person's mind from an abundance of happiness and pleasure.

Obviously every writer can use words differently...

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  • Consider chilling out and explaining yourself, commentless downvoter. – mevaqesh Mar 14 '17 at 15:02

Korat Ruach is only cited in two places in Mesilat Yesharim

  1. בנפש, שישתדל לעשות לחבירו כל קורת רוח שיש בידו, בין בעניני הכבוד, בין בכל שאר הענינים, כל מה שהוא יודע שאם יעשהו לחבירו הוא מקבל נחת רוח ממנו, מצות חסידות הוא לעשותו, כל שכן שלא יצערנו בשום מיני צער כלל, יהיה באיזה אופן שיהיה.‏

  2. ובכלל הענין הזה שלא לצער לשום בריה אפילו בעלי חיים ולרחם ולחוס עליהם, וכן הוא אומר (משלי יב, י) יודע צדיק נפש בהמתו, וכבר יש שסוברים (שבת קכח, ב; בבא מציעא לב, ב) צער בעלי חיים דאורייתא, ועל כל פנים דרבנן. כללו, של דבר הרחמנות וההטבה צריך שתהיה תקוע בלב החסיד לעולם, ותהיה מגמתו תמיד לעשות קורת רוח לבריות, ולא לגרום להם שום צער וכו'. ‏

In the first occurence, almost immediately the author uses as synonym nachat ruach (in the above quotes, nachat ruach and korat ruach are in bold). This two occurences of korat ruach regard Nachat Ruach for humans. As mentioned in the answer of @mevakesh, the word korat refers to cooling, calming. For persons, the happyness is linked to recover from anxiety, doubt.

So, may be that the author uses this expression regarding persons, or animals, to enlight that there is a particular feature: to make good for other is almost alway to calm his distress, physic or mental. Humans and animals are weak and vulnerable.

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  • are you saying there is no difference between the two? – ray Mar 14 '17 at 11:45
  • yes @ray but I said a bit more – kouty Mar 14 '17 at 12:01
  • the Ramchal was a master of the hebrew language. dont you think there's a reason he chose one over the other for a reason – ray Mar 14 '17 at 19:39
  • @ray I explained in my answer in what point of view korat is better. – kouty Mar 14 '17 at 19:55
  • so korat is for humans and nachat is not. but the two mean the same thing? correct? – ray Mar 15 '17 at 6:50

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