The Torah seems to make a big deal about the Ananei Hakavod (clouds of glory) and commands us to commemorate them with the holiday of Succos. There seems to be no big deal about the manna or Be’er Miriam (well of Miriam). Why are the Ananei Hakavod given more ‘attention’ than the manna or Be’er Miriam, which were also great miracles?
There are three answers given to the above question:
1. Food and water are the barest of necessities for survival. Hashem took us out to a desert; of course He would feed us! Shelter is not crucial for survival and could therefore be classified as ‘lifnim meshuras hadin’ (above and beyond the measure of the law).
2. The clouds were exclusive. They were a special gift from Hashem to His Chosen nation, but only those who were worthy, benefitted. (The Erev Rav and people inflicted with tzora’as (leprosy)did not benefit)
3. The clouds, the manna, and the water from Be’er Miriam were all given as free gifts. The Jews complained and made requests regarding the water and food (ie-slav) but they never complained about the clouds. The clouds were the perfect gift.
The Chida says that these three answers are hinted to in Parshas Emor 23:43: לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲנִי הֹ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: In order that your ensuing generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.
לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתי – I, (Hashem) gave it to you as a gift.
אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל- I gave it to the Jews (not the Erev Rav).
בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲנִי ה’ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם- I took you out of Egypt, so I was obligated to feed you.