Bnei Yisrael merited to receive the mitzvah of Sukkah in order to relive the miracle of the anonei hakavod. The Mabit points out that we did not receive a mitzvah to relive the chesed that Hashem did with Bnei Yisrael by providing them with the mon and the water, via the be’er Miriam, during this same time period of travelling the desert. It seems, that we should be just as grateful that Hashem provided these basic necessities, as we are grateful that he provided this protection.

The Mabit answers this question with an important insight: If Hashem took us to the desert in a sense, He has a responsibility to support us with food and water, lest the bnei Yisrael perish. However, this is not the case with shelter – the Jews could have survived in the desert without this special protection. But that, in fact, is the reason this miracle was chosen to be celebrated: because the anonei hakavod were not necessary, rather they were an added perk. The Mabit continues to explain that Chazal tell us that we merited the anonei hakavod due to the actions of Aharon Hakohen. What was so special about Aharon Hakohen? He was an oheiv shalom and rodef shalom, going beyond his call of duty to bring peace between people. Mida kinegged mida, Hashem also went the extra mile in the merit of Aharon Hakohen by providing us with shelter.

I would like to make an observation in regard to the way that Jews perform the mitzvah of sukkah: Many times there are situations that technically one can be exempt from eating in a sukkah (such as, when eating a meal without bread, or while traveling), yet even in these situations, many people still try to perform the mitzvah and eat in a sukkah. When they are asked “Do you really have to do this?” they smile and say “No, but we want to do it because of our love of Hashem.”

We see here a full circle: Hashem was benevolent to us and we have this mitzvah of Sukkah to appreciate that special connection; and we go out of our way to do the mitzvah even beyond the ways that are commanded of us.