I learned a new word recently: “mansplaining.”

Wikipedia defines it as: “a portmanteau of the words man and explaining; to explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.”

When a person, often a male, mansplains, it means that he has little respect for the listener, since he assumes that the listener, being female, does not have the same capacity to understand as a male.

Women who have been subjected to mansplaining describe that this invalidation silences women, crushes their feminine perspective, and dismisses them as being less credible. But truthfully, it also robs the male of something valuable—a perspective that would enrich his own.

Although the word is fairly new, perhaps the Torah portion Nasso admonishes us against the behavior the word describes.

The sota is a woman whose husband suspects her of infidelity. The couple comes to the Temple, where a kohen fills an earthen vessel with Temple water and bitter earth, and dissolves in it the letters of G‑d’s name. When she drinks the bitter waters, the unfaithful wife dies; the faithful one is exonerated and blessed.

The Chassidic masters explain this episode metaphorically as a struggle between spirituality and physicality, between the soul and the body, and between the masculine and feminine perspectives.

The soul, represented by the husband, cannot fathom the value of the body, represented by the feminine. The soul views physicality as something detracting from his Divine service and does not appreciate her needs or perspectives.

But while the body’s temptations often hold the soul back, that’s only one side. The soul could not accomplish its mission—or perform any mitzvah, for that matter—without its body: its brain, mouth, hands, and legs. G‑d chose to give the Torah to human beings—souls cloaked in physical bodies—and not angels. The Torah commands us about earthly matters and how to live in our physical world. In fact, in the feminine era of Moshiach, we will understand the body’s true value, and the soul will actually “be nourished by the body.”

That is why in the sota episode, after the struggle between the soul and the body, the name of G‑d is dissolved specifically in an earthen vessel, validating the significant role played by feminine earthiness and physicality.

So, perhaps the lesson for us is not to have a one-dimensional worldview, which disparages or disregards people or perspectives that differ from our own. By marrying the spiritual with the physical, by wedding the masculine with the feminine, by incorporating a range of diversity, we become greater beings.

Let’s stop mansplaining, womansplaining, or peoplesplaining, and start seeing the inherent worth in all of G‑d’s creations.

Let’s open our eyes to appreciate the value of someone or something beyond ourselves. We will not only broaden and enrich our personal understanding, but we will also achieve the impossible—of joining heaven and earth.