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For Ashkenazi customs:

I heard (not first hand) that Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife used to light her own candles (with a blessing). Does anyone know of a source that she may have had to support such a minhag halachicly, differing from the Shulchan Aruch / M"B paskin of "Ish Ubeito" grouping husband and wife.

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Can you include a citation to where the Shulchan Aruch rules that a husband should light for his wife (for those who rule like the Rambam that mehadrin min hamehadrin means each person lighting a menora)? –  Double AA Dec 4 '13 at 6:59
    
I'm not next to any books right now, do you have a source that says that both men and women can both say a blessing? –  Yaakov Pinsky Dec 4 '13 at 7:02
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"אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: נשים חייבות בנר חנוכה, שאף הן היו באותו הנס" Now you explain to me what marriage has to do with anything. Married men don't eat Matza for their wives (TTBOMK). –  Double AA Dec 4 '13 at 7:05
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you are obviously aware of opinions that "אשתו כגופו" or "נשים תפילות לבעליהם" etc. I think you can be more accommodating and less condescending to those opinions or people like myself who have less knowledge on the subject than you seem to have. And see Rav Melamed: ph.yhb.org.il/05-12-04 Rav levanon (footnote 7): yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=609 and Rav Beni Lau who concludes my custom - one night my wife, one night me: kipa.co.il/jew/holidays/Hanukkah/16207.html –  Yaakov Pinsky Dec 4 '13 at 7:22
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Yaakov Pinsky, I think the most reasonable default positions are that women are exempt and that women light. That women are chayavos but don't light is quite a chidush (think, as @DoubleAA noted, of matza-- or any other mitzva). If you have a source for saying women are chayavos but don't light (and you seem to, namely the links in your last comment), then IMO it makes sense to edit them into the question as support for a major hypothesis thereof. –  msh210 Dec 4 '13 at 7:35
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1 Answer

The Mishnah Berurah Siman 675 ois 9, brings from the sefer עלת שמואל that women do not need to light, but instead fulfill the mitzvah through the lighting of the men. But if they wish to light they can do so, and with a berachah.

Many people follow the opinion of the Chasam Sofer who writes that because they used to light outside and for a woman to go outside and light in public was considered to be not in keeping with the concept of "כל כבודה בת מלך פנימה", therefore the custom became that only the men would light.

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I'd never heard of this Olat Shemuel. Do you know anything about him? –  Double AA Dec 4 '13 at 14:02
    
@DoubleAA - The sefer can be found here. שאלה ק"ה –  Gemini Man Dec 4 '13 at 16:16
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