Portae Lucis in Latin or ‘Sha’aray Orah‘ (שערי אורה), in Hebrew, is usually translated as Gates of Light in English, is the title of the 13th century Kabbalah classic by Yosef Gikatilla. The English reader may well wonder if ‘Gates of Light’ refers to gates made of light? Think of ‘gates of the city’ — here there is no ambiguity — the words mean gates one passes through to enter the city; here too, the gates are the entrance to the light. In a commentary to this book authored by Mattisyahu Delacrut, he explains that Gikatilla’s intent is to provide an introduction for students, a preliminary study needed in order to understand the more advanced concepts in Kabbalah. Portae Lucis or Gates of Light is meant to be an introduction, an entrance to Kabbalah.
Below the Latin words, the Hebrew words say: This is the gate to Adonai; O’ righteous ones, come though. It does not say O’ Children of Israel or O’ Torah Scholars. The Kabbalah’s teachings reveal, shed light on, the inner or hidden meanings of Torah verses and this light, this understanding, is reserved for all the righteous ones of the world.