A southern girl in the Pacific Northwest

[protected post] Shabbat and the single girl

http://www.kveller.com/mayim-bialik/how-many-shabbat-candles-does-a-divorced-woman-light/

This won’t probably interest many of you, but I was fascinated by the question: how many Shabbos candles does a divorced woman light? (Halachic answer: two, although she doesn’t give a source or a reason. Although on the other hand there may not be a reason other than rabbinic interpretation.)

Anyway.
I was not aware that single women should only light one candle. I don’t recall specifically learning that; I always light 2. I always considered it to be one light for me and one for my partner, (if I have one) or one for my fellows. (As a conservative convert I am astonished I didn’t learn about this, but possibly I just missed it?) When I light the candles when M & E are over, I light 2: one for me and one for them. In thinking back, I was partnered when I finished my conversion, so maybe they taught me to light two for that reason and I didn’t pay attention to the “single girls” part.

As a Jewish feminist, I’m interested in the possible feminist interpretations of the number of candles lit, and the reasoning.

Anybody have any thoughts about this?

As a side note, I really like Kveller, even though it’s for parents. There are a lot of interesting discussions that transpire, and I often learn something new or come upon a perspective I hadn’t considered. I think it caters to orthodox parents, but there are lots of very liberal attitudes represented in both the articles and the comments. It’s really a good mix.

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