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Naomi returns to Israel and tells people to call her Mara cause God has embittered her life (Ruth 1:20). But no one actually ends up calling her Mara.

  1. Is a person allowed to change her name for non-health (refuah) related reasons?
  2. Does anyone else in Tanach ever do this i.e. as to have his or her name changed?
  3. Why doesn't anyone actually call her Mara?
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Yeshayahu tells people to call Shabbat "Oneg". How come nobody refers to the seventh day of the week as Oneg? –  Baal Shemot Tovot May 20 '12 at 3:38
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1 Answer

Your question is your answer, at least for you initial query (and #3).

Given that nobody actually ends up calling her Mara, perhaps this was meant as a bitter declaration, rather than as something serious?

In other words, נעמי has as its root נעם, meaning 'sweet'. Mara is the opposite. So when the women ask הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי, she responds that they should not call her that, but rather, to call her Mara.

As to the other two derivative questions, I'll leave that to others to answer.

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