from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Hebrew usage, one of ten men of leisure (batlanim) who are expected to devote their whole time to the affairs of a congregation, and especially to attend divine service in the synagogue. Many synagogues which adhere to the orthodox ritual hire men to attend service, so as to be sure of the requisite ten.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In the midst of the rushing around, I find myself stopped on the corner by a street person -- in Yiddish, a batlan; a man who doesn't have work; a man who may be homeless.