Question: Can a man light Sabbath candles?
I am nearly 50 years old and am in the process of converting to Judaism. For years I have been lighting Sabbath candles on Friday night. Can I continue to do this after I am converted? Or can only women - according to Jewish law or tradition - light Sabbath candles?
Answer: Dear Merlin,
The mitzvah (commandment from G-d) of lighting Sabbath candles on Friday night is actually a mitzvah upon both men and women.
Nevertheless, since the tone in the home is usually set by the lady of the house, she was given the privilege of performing this mitzvah. If/when you are married to a Jewish woman, then she should unquestionably be put in charge of fulfilling this mitzvah.
That being said, all men who live alone must light their own Sabbath candles each week.
Best of luck in your spiritual journey!
Rabbi Ari Enkin
Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel