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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.

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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.

  • Ahh, so what he was saying wasn't specific to the Mount of Olives? We brought her from chu"l, so that must be why he mentioned it. Does anyone elucidate what the meaning of this it? – Robert S. Barnes Jul 30 '15 at 15:38
  • @RobertS.Barnes, I expanded the answer. – Yishai Jul 30 '15 at 15:47
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    @RobertS.Barnes תנוחם מן השמים – Double AA Jul 30 '15 at 15:52
  • "Rambam brings this as a Halacha" It doesnt sound like a halacha to me. – mevaqesh Jul 30 '15 at 19:28
  • @mevaqesh, The desirability to be buried in Eretz Yisroel is not a Halacha? Anyway, it was a reference to the introduction to the Rambam וראיתי לחלק חיבור זה הלכות הלכות בכל עניין ועניין, ואחלק ההלכות לפרקים שבאותו עניין; וכל פרק ופרק אחלק אותו להלכות קטנות, כדי שיהיו סדורין על פה – Yishai Jul 30 '15 at 19:39

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