Even thought Chanukah is one of the Yom Toivim where we say

"Af Hen Hayu B'oso Hanes" (women were included in the miracle)

women still do not light their own candles even according to the way of Mehadrin.

Whats stranger is that if a husband will be late to come home, many Poskim say to tell your wife to light. If so, why don't they light their own?

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    Other than the Hasam Sofer's concern that unmarried girls should not light because of tzniyus reasons, who says unmarried girls do not light? After all, today, when the lighting (in hutz lAretz) is done indoors, what tzniyus problem is there? – Yahu Dec 10 '10 at 9:09
  • I never said unmarried,but as an added angle do older girls unmarried lets say they share an apartment in New York and there from Europe you think the Halacha is they should light? and is there a halachic source for that? – SimchasTorah Dec 10 '10 at 13:08
  • @Yahu see Olas Shmuel linked below. @ST- If you're talking about married women only, you can just say ishto k'gufo. – YDK Dec 12 '10 at 6:11
  • possible dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/33706/759 – Double AA Dec 29 '16 at 3:39

The Mishna Berura quotes the Olas Shmuel that women do not light because they are "tepheilos" to the men. I looked up this curious reference and found this idea: Tosfos in Megilla 4a argues with the Rashbam on the line "Af hen hayu b'oso hanes" and says the language of af - even - seems like they were not the primary causes or recipients of the miracle, but secondary recipients (tepheilos). The Olas Shmuel uses this idea to explain why women fulfill their obligation with a simple ner ish u'veiso. (And when the husband is not lighting on time, she lights for him, and so lights however many he would light)

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    Cutting of generals head, Boel Lhegmon Techillah it would seem they are b'oso hanes how where they not primary? – SimchasTorah Dec 9 '10 at 12:48
  • And according to those who do say "Af Hen Hayu B'oso Hanes" what is the answer? – SimchasTorah Dec 9 '10 at 12:49
  • Arguably, Yehudis' cutting off the general's head - as brave and important an act as it was - didn't have that much of a wider effect on the events of Chanukah as a whole. (It was, after all, only one city that was saved thereby.) – Alex Dec 9 '10 at 17:55
  • Anyway, Tosafos' argument is that the Gemara's אף הן היו באותו הנס doesn't mean that they were the primary cause of the miracle, because אף implies that they were co-equal with the men. They explain it exactly that way - that the Greeks' decrees affected both men and women equally. – Alex Dec 9 '10 at 17:57
  • @Alex- How do you explain the idea of "tfeilos"? – YDK Dec 12 '10 at 5:53

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