Today at the burial of a relative on the Mount of Olives, the Rabbi made a comment that burial there is like being buried under the altar on the Temple Mount. It struck me as a bit unusual, and I was wondering if anyone could elaborate and provide sources.
Kesubos 111a says:
אמר רב ענן כל הקבור בארץ ישראל כאילו קבור תחת המזבח
Rav Anan said: "Whoever is buried in the Land of Israel it is as if he was buried under the Altar."
The Rambam brings this as a Halacha in Malachim 5:11 and says that it represents forgiveness of sin.
The Chemdas Tzvi 4:56 discusses at length the meaning of this. One point he brings from the Marsha is that Adam's body was made from the earth on the place of the Mizbeich, so it represents an ideal return of the body to its place of origin, with the corresponding implication that the same happens to the soul.