I want to mention few words about my parents
Their relationship had the effect on me that I was permanently effected by this rose colored picture of reality. Things may be hard, but they retain this rosy soft color for me. I believe love, marriage, and having children as the greatest privilege a man or woman can have. This image in my mind was definitely painted by my parents.
Beyond this was also Mom's and Dad's introducing me to amazing aspects of the world--Torah, Einstein, the Mount Palomar Observatory, Cal Tech, Mozart. [I went with my Dad to the yearly Alumni day at Cal Tech.] [My Dad gave me the Magic Flute by Mozart for a Hanukkah present.]
Also he brought me to his laboratory in TRW where he was the chief scientist working on laser communication for the SDI, (i.e the Star Wars) Strategic Defense Initiative for NASA.
In short their approach was "to be a mensch." That is a decent human being. That was their idea of what Torah is about. It is a kind of balance between obligation between man and God and between man and his fellow man. You could say it was their way of keeping the Ten Commandments, but that in itself nowadays has become subject to debate. But if one tries to keep the Ten Commandments simply and plainly that just about approximates as closely as possible the approach of my parents.--As in: Don't lie. Don't cheat. Honor your parents, Belief in God, etc.
On Shabat we went to Temple Israel in Hollywood and that is where I had my bar mitzvah. Jewish education was very important to my parents. I remember that we also went sometimes to Mount Sinai conservative synagogue.
Their approach towards Torah was one of balance. That is it is good to keep Torah but with balance.תורה עם דרך ארץ. Torah with a vocation. [But Torah with Derech Eretz means more than just a vocation. It means the whole spectrum of being a "mench."]
The way I try to live this dream is by a kind of balance between learning the Oral Law Gemara, Rashi Tosphot, along with Physics, and outdoor skills.
After High School I went to Shar Yashuv [a yeshiva in N.Y.] and then to the Mir in NY and then to the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. Mainly I am trying to walk in the way my parents taught to me. Torah and Derech Eretz. The kinds of learning were very different. Shar Yashuv concentrated on לחשבן את הסוגיה to calculate the sugia. They were open about that. The Mir however was more interested in global issues as you would see in the book of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik.[However each Rosh Yeshiva at the Mir had his own set of ideas he would give over in each lesson. The only one however that wrote his ideas down was the Sukat David.] In any case, in my own learning I try to combine both approaches.