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Is a single male permitted to light the shabbat candles and say the blessing? And if so, how many candles? Do the rules change based on whether alone or in the company any single females?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Men and women are both obligated in the Mitzva of Shabbat candles and saying the blessing. Women have precedence to ensure the Mitzva is fulfilled because they are more often at home preparing the house on Friday afternoon. (Shulchan Aruch OC 263:2-5 and Mishne Torah, Hilchos shabas ch. 5)

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Thanks! So for clarity, when you say women have "precedence", would it be acceptable, even in mixed company for a male to light and recite just because? For instance, if the woman of the house simply deferred, "no you go ahead and do it tonight"? We often celebrate with miscellaneous guests and it's nice for everyone to have a chance to participate. –  Fireman Rob Mar 24 at 15:35
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If the women give permission i see no reason to object. You should check with your Rabbi who understands the particulars of your situation for a final ruling though. –  Double AA Mar 24 at 15:49
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